Thursday, November 13, 2008

Tigers kill zoo worker in Singapore

By Khushwant Singh
Mr Nordin Mondong, 32, from Sarawak, is believed to have fallen into the moat surrounding the White tiger enclosure at about 12.15pm and was immediately pounced on by the three big cats weighing over 100 kg each. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO
A MALAYSIAN cleaner was mauled to death by three tigers which pounced on him when he fell into the moat in the enclosure at the Singapore Zoo in Mandai on Thursday.

The man has been identified as Mr Nordin Montong, 32, from Sarawak. His family has been notified of his death, said the Singapore Zoo in a statement.

As a precautionary measure, the Zoo has temporarily closed the White Tiger exhibit.

The Zoo said the man, a contract worker, jumped into the moat at the tiger enclosure at 12.15pm and was pounced on by the three big cats weighing over 100 kg each.

Terrified visitors near the section watched the vicious attack in horror and screamed.

The commotion attracted the attention of a keeper who was nearby. Other keepers sprang to Mr Nordin's rescue by distracting the tigers.

The keepers managed to separate the Mr Nordin from the tiger.

"While waiting for the ambulance, our vets attended to him," said Ms Giswajit Guha, the Zoo's assistant director.

The ambulance arrived at 12.45pm but the mauled worker had died of injuries to his neck and body.

Mr Nordin started working at the Zoo in June.

It is believed he was not supposed to be in the Tiger enclosure and was assigned to clean the Chimpanzee section on Thursday.

He was seen behaving in an agitated manner before he fell into the moat.

"Our heartfelt condolences go to the worker's family and we will provide his family with whatever assistance they need during this period," said Ms Guha.

Police and the Zoo are investigating the incident.

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