In a horrific incident, a female Siberian tiger named Irina mauled a 55-year-old female zookeeper to death in the presence of visitors at Zurich Zoo on Saturday, July 4.

According to reports, Irina, five-year-old Irina attacked the lady while frightened sightseers watched.

They raised alarm but help came a little too late as the victim was already badly injured.

Zurich Zoo

“Sadly all help came too late,” Zurich police spokeswoman Judith Hoedl said.

In a statement, the zoo’s spokesperson said the facility’s internal emergency center received a message that an animal keeper at their facility had been attacked by a  tiger.

It is also reported that the rescue team successfully lured the tiger off the victim and then back into her space.

However, the zookeeper was already dead at the time.

“Despite immediate resuscitation measures, the 55-year-old woman was unfortunately too late to help and died on the spot.”

Investigations are ongoing to establish how and why the victim and the tiger ended up in the same enclosure at the same time.

Nevertheless, the zoo has maintained that the animal is wild and that it will not be euthanized.

“A person in her exhibit is an intruder into her territory. In her reaction she followed her natural instincts exclusively.” their statement read.

Zoo director Severin Dressen later told reporters: “Our full sympathy is with the relatives of the victim.”

He said adding that the keeper had been a long-term member of the facility’s staff.

The zoo was closed then and was to reopen from today, Monday, July 6.

According to Dressen, the tiger was born at a zoo in the Danish city of Odense and transferred to Zurich a year ago.