Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Lion man TV series in doubt over mauling death of keeper in Kiwi wildlife park...
Lion Man series in doubt after fatal mauling:
Film company which makes TV series Lion Man says future of series in doubt after keeper fatally mauled by white tiger.
The makers of The Lion Man television programme say the future of the series is in doubt after a tiger attack claimed the life of a keeper at Zion Wildlife Gardens in Northland yesterday.
Dalu Mncube, was cleaning an enclosure at the park when he was attacked by a male white tiger. Other staff members tried to pull the tiger away but failed. Visitors to the zoo including overseas tourists witnessed the incident. The tiger was shot.
Philip Smith, managing director of Great Southern Television says no new series were planned until an employment dispute between "Lion Man" Craig Busch and his mother is settled.
The Department of Labour, police and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry are investigating and Mr Smith says his company will wait for the outcomes of the investigations before making any decisions.
Mr Smith says his crew has worked at the park for many years and there has never been any indication that such a tragedy could happen.
The fatal attack on a zoo keeper at Zion Wildlife Gardens in Whangarei comes as no surprise to one tiger expert.
Dr Brendan Moyle from Massey University says accidents with big cats happen regularly at zoos all over the world. He says it has to be remembered that tigers are dangerous carnivores and their instinct is to kill.
Dr Moyle has been working with tigers in Asia for the past two years and says he would never go into an enclosure with a tiger which has not been anaesthetised.
Mr Mncube is being remembered as a big hearted man who just loved big cats. Philip Smith, the managing director of Great Southern Television which makes The Lion Man series filmed at Zion park, says Mr Mncube's death has come as a big shock.
"Dalu was a big-hearted, beautiful, caring animal lover who was always enthusiastic, hugely experienced and just a great guy to be around."
Mr Smith says his crew has worked at the park for many years and there has never been any indication something like this could happen.
© 2009 NZCity, NewsTalkZB
Fatal tiger mauling in NZ