Tiger-attack zoo under review

Sumatran tiger Oz attacked Hamilton Zoo curator Samantha Kudeweh last September.
Sumatran tiger Oz attacked Hamilton Zoo curator Samantha Kudeweh last September.

Hamilton City Council has appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers (Pwc) to review Hamilton Zoo after the death of one of its staff last year.

Zoo curator and mother-of-two Samantha Kudeweh, 43, died after Oz the male Sumatran tiger attacked on September 20, while she worked inside the animal's enclosure.

Samantha Kudeweh
Samantha Kudeweh

The Hamilton City Council won't release any details about how Oz came to be in the enclosure with Mrs Kudeweh.

Worksafe, the council's internal health and safety team and police - on behalf of the coroner - are also investigating the death.

Pwc's review will examine a number of aspects of the zoo operation, including animal enclosures, staffing and staffing structures, zoo operating procedures, health and safety and risk management and will look at what can be done to enhance and improve the zoo.

Zoo staff will be involved in workshops as part of the review, due for completion next month.

Council general manager community Lance Vervoort said the review was signalled before Mrs Kudeweh's death but had been widened to cover aspects of the attack.

Mr Vervoort and council chief executive Richard Briggs will consider recommendations from the review.

- NZ Herald

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