According to authorities, a zookeeper at Japanese Safar Park died after being assaulted by a lion while attempting to bring the animal to its cage. Kenichi Kato, the 53-year-old worker at Tohoku Safari Park in the Fukushima region, was found bleeding from his neck and unconscious inside the lion’s cage Thursday afternoon, according to the local police spokeswoman.
“It is believed that he was feeding a lion,” added the unnamed spokesperson.
Kato Was Trying to Lure a Lion into A Cage with Food
According to the senior park official, Kato was trying to lure a lion into a cage with food but failed to close a door that should have separated him from the large beast.
“The process is that we open the door, and place the food. Once the food is placed, the door is to be closed and locked,”Norichika Kumakubo, the park’s vice-president, told local media Thursday evening.
But “the door was open at the time” he explained.
According to local media, Kato was an experienced staff member who dealt with animals such as lions, tigers, and bears.
“We deeply apologise to Mr. Kato and his family,” Kumakubo added.
“We regard this extremely seriously. We will take measures to prevent similar accidents.”