Zoo director executes killer tiger with high-powered rifle


A tiger in a zoo in Cologne, Germany escaped Saturday and killed a zookeeper.


Justin Sullivan

A tiger escaped its enclosure in a German zoo and killed a female zookeeper Saturday.

The Associated Press reported that the tiger went through a passage that was accidentally left open between the paddock and a storage facility.

Police and tactical police were called to the scene during the incident.

Yet, before they arrived the zoo director climbed a building and killed the animal with a high-powered rifle.

"This is the darkest day of my life," the zoo's director, Theo Pagel, was quoted as saying by the Koln Express.

The police seemed relieved that the zookeeper took the initiative.

“The zoo director has the right weapons for such a task,” said a police spokesman, according to The Local.

"Our guns would not have even scratched it."

The killer tiger was a 4-year-old male that was the father of three cubs.

The Cologne zoo is the oldest in Germany.

GlobalPost reported that tigers killed a man earlier this summer in nearby Copenhagen, Denmark after he jumped into their enclosure in a likely suicide.