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Tigers kill two zookeepers in China

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Two zookeepers have been killed by tigers at separate zoos in China, between Tuesday and Wednesday.

Chinese State media reports that in the first incident, a 55-year-old keeper surnamed Yang was mauled to death by a tiger as he cleaned its cage at a zoo in eastern Anhui province.

Yang had been a tiger handler at the Zhanggongshan Zoo in Bengbu for nearly two decades before his death.

On Wednesday, police reportedly shot two tigers dead after they mauled a zookeeper during feeding time and escaped their enclosure at a park in central Henan province.

The keeper, named Jia, was hospitalized and later died of his injuries.

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Authorities at Danjiang Peacock Valley, Xichuan County, evacuated guests and staff while police and forestry workers were called to the scene, state broadcaster CCTV reported.

Attempts to anesthetize or trap the animals were unsuccessful and fearing the tigers would make it into the dense forest near the park where they could pose a danger to local residents, police decided to shoot them.

The tiger attacks also come weeks after three leopards escaped a park in Hangzhou which neglected to tell local residents for a week. Two of the leopards were caught but one remains on the loose, presumed dead.

By Isaac Dachen

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