Parents of zookeeper Rosa king, mauled to death by tiger at Hamerton Park Zoo, pay tribute to daughter who was ‘living her dream’

Rosa King, who died after she was mauled by a tiger. Picture: The King Family

Rosa King, who died after she was mauled by a tiger. Picture: The King Family - Credit: Archant

The parents of a zookeeper who was mauled to death by a tiger have paid tribute to their inspirational daughter.

Rosa King, 33, worked at Hamerton Park Zoo, near Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire. She died on Monday after being attacked in the big cat's enclosure.

Police were called at 11.15am to reports of a serious incident at the zoo.

A Magpas air ambulance was on the scene 20 minutes later and visitors were evacuated from the attraction.

An East of England Ambulance Service paramedic crew and two rapid response vehicles also attended.

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Miss King was pronounced dead at the scene of the incident, which is now being investigated by police and environmental health officials.

In a family statement released by Cambridgeshire police, her parents Peter and Andrea King said they would like to thank all those that have shown 'an abundance of love and sympathy' at the passing of their beloved daughter.

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'Rosa was a dedicated professional when it came to her work,' they go on. 'She lived and breathed a vocation that meant the world to her, living her dream.

'She had a care and understanding of her animals that was a joy and privilege to behold.

'As well as our daughter, Rosa was a big sister to her brother Mark, who like his parents, had nothing but love and admiration for her.

'Rosa was passionate about animals from the age of two when she first sat on the back of a horse. After that, her life was always going to be about animals.

'She would stand up for those who couldn't stand up for themselves including the animals and campaigned and raised money for animal charities.

'Rosa completed a sky dive in 2014 to raise money for Animal Asia and then travelled to China to visit the sanctuary for Moon bears to see for herself the work they do, and just recently returned from a visit to a Sun bear rehabilitation centre in Borneo.

'Rosa's whole attitude to the animal kingdom is probably best summed up in the following statement: 'When I look into the eyes of an animal I do not see an animal. I see a living being. I see a friend. I feel a soul.'

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