MEXICO CITY – A tiger escaped from an unlocked cage at a commercial zoo and fatally mauled its caretaker before it was captured and killed, officials said Tuesday.
State officials said that Bioparque Estrella had closed Monday when the tiger left its unlocked cage and fatally attacked 26-year-old Herminio Rodriguez Palma. It was unclear why the cage had been left unlocked.
Some 150 police officers and zoo veterinarians began an intense search for the tiger at the 740-acre wild animal park in the countryside northwest of Mexico City. It was captured and killed before dawn.
Mexico has had problems with dangerous animals escaping from their caretakers recently.
In September, a five-ton elephant got away from his trainer at a circus, wandered onto a highway outside Mexico City and was fatally hit by a bus. The bus driver also was killed.
Three tigers escaped from a circus truck and took shelter in a house in western Mexico last week, but were quickly recaptured.
And in August, a 500-pound lion escaped from a local lawmaker's private zoo in southern Mexico, killing two dogs and a pig and attacking a woman and child on a donkey before it was sedated and captured.