Zookeeper mauled to death by rare white tiger

A white tiger like this has mauled a zookeeper to death in Japan. ( AP Photo-Natacha Pisarenko )

A rare white tiger has mauled and killed a zookeeper in its enclosure at a zoo in Japan.

Akira Furusho, 40, was discovered bleeding from the neck after the attack at the Hirakawa Zoological Park in the southern city of Kagoshima.

A police official said the zookeeper was “found collapsed in a cage, bleeding” and taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The zoo said the tiger was sedated with a tranquilliser gun after the attack, as rescue workers and police rushed to the scene.

The fate of the tiger responsible for the attack is not known.

The white tiger is considered to be the second largest species of tiger in the world after the Siberian tiger.

It is a large and powerful animal that can weigh up to 300kg (661lb) and reaches more than three meters (9.8ft) in length.

It is the second attack involving a zoo worker in Japan this year.

A female worker at Ueno Zoo in Tokyo was injured when a gorilla bit her arm as she was escorting it from a public display area.

In Britain, zookeeper Rosa King, 33, was killed in 2017 after a tiger entered the enclosure she was working in at Hamerton Zoo Park in Cambridgeshire.

A post-mortem found she died from traumatic injuries.

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