A tiger has been shot dead after escaping from its compound in Kent.
Sariska got out of her enclosure at Howletts wild animal park at Bekesbourne, near Canterbury.
But the four-year-old animal did not get out of the park which was closed to the public at the time.
The Kentish Gazette quoted a source saying the Indian tiger had jumped over its compound fence. Staff at Howletts could not confirm this.
A spokesman says a decision was made by the director on site to kill the tiger in the interests of safety.
He said: "A tranquilliser can take up to 15 minutes before working and the tiger was moving to an open area.
"An investigation is under way as to how she escaped. Meanwhile the other tiger in the enclosure has been moved. The whole situation was contained very quickly."
The incident has been reported to Canterbury council, as the zoo licensing authority.
The escape is the latest in a series of incidents involving Howletts' tigers. In 1980 two keepers were killed by the same tiger, Zeya, and in 1992 two tigers escaped.
The killing of another keeper Trevor Smith in 1994 triggered a two-year legal battle between Howletts' late owner, millionaire John Aspinall, and the council over a proposal to ban keepers from cages.
Ananova, 6 th December 2001
Neil Arnold of Kent Big Cat Research informs us that "The Tiger which escaped from Howlett's escaped due to the chain-link fence being gradually 'gnawed'. The Tiger escaped from its cage but only into the surrounding grounds. There were not many visitors to the park, when it was shot."
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