Zookeeper mauled to death by lion who turned on him as he tried to lure him to his cave with food in Japan
- Kenichi Kato, an employee of Tohoku Safari Park, was found unconscious in a lion cage.
A zookeeper at a Japanese safari park was mauled to death by a lion after the predator attacked him as he tried to lure it to its cave with food, police said today .
Kenichi Kato, a 53-year-old employee of Tohoku Safari Park in the Fukushima region, was found bleeding and unconscious inside the lion’s cage on Thursday afternoon, a door told AFP. -spokesperson of the local police.
“It is believed he was feeding a lion,” said the spokesperson, who requested anonymity.
A senior park official earlier said Kato was trying to lure a lion into a cage using food, but he did not lock the door that should have separated him from the big cat.
“The process involves opening the door and placing the food. Once the food is placed, the gate must be closed and locked,” Norichika Kumakubo, vice president of the park, told local reporters Thursday evening.
But “the door was open at that point,” he said.
A zookeeper at a Japanese safari park died after a lion apparently attacked him as he tried to bring the animal into its cage, police said Friday (file image).
Kenichi Kato, a 53-year-old employee of the Tohoku Safari Park (photo GV) in the Fukushima region, was killed by the lion.
Kato was a 27-year veteran staff member who worked with carnivores such as lions, tigers and bears, local media said.
“We deeply apologize to Mr. Kato and his family,” Kumakubo said.
“We take this extremely seriously. We will take measures to prevent similar accidents.
The facility will remain closed until it can implement effective prevention measures, Kumakubo said.