Siberian tiger kills Seaview Predator Park employee, tiger in front of horrified staff

A Siberian male tiger named Judah was killed.
A Siberian male tiger named Judah was killed.
Seaview Predator Park, Facebook
  • Siberian male tiger named Jasper attacked Seaview Predator Park employee David Siphiwo Solomon, breaking his neck and killing him.
  • The park said Jasper then proceeded to another enclosure and killed a Siberian male tiger named Judah.
  • The park said the incident was the first at the park and was obviously fuelled by hormones.

A Siberian tiger named Jasper killed a Seaview Predator Park employee at the Gqeberha facility on Wednesday afternoon while the employee was repairing the electric fence of an enclosure.

David Siphiwo Solomon was working on the enclosure, which houses Jasper and another Siberian tiger named Jade, when Jasper jumped onto the exterior fence, out of the enclosure.

In a statement on Thursday, the park said Solomon was in the passageway between enclosures and was walking towards the taps when the tiger charged at him. Solomon attempted to climb over the fence of a different enclosure to get to safety but Jasper pulled him back with such force that his neck broke.

The incident happened in full view of horrified staff and volunteers.

According to the statement, the Tiger then proceeded to the enclosure next door, which houses two other Siberian tigers named Judah and Amber.

READ | How a lion, which escaped from game reserve, was captured in Pretoria

A fight ensued between Judah and Jasper and Judah was killed. Jasper, being an entire male Siberian tiger, wanted the attention of Amber, an entire female Siberian Tiger.

Management immediately closed the park and assisted members of the public who were near to the tiger enclosures to gather their belongings and exit the park, it added in the statement. Those who were at the restaurant adjoining the park were kept there until it was safe for them to return to their vehicles and leave.

Surrounding neighbours, Kabega Park police, the Gardmed Ambulance Service, the Kragga Kamma Veterinary Hospital and Nature Conservation officials were alerted immediately.

ALSO READ | 2 dead, 7 injured after Eastern Cape pupils try to burn a snake on school grounds

Dr David Everzard, a veterinarian from Kragga Kamma, was on site to tranquilise Jasper and Amber so that the remains of Solomon and Judah, could be retrieved.

Kabega Park police have opened an inquest docket, according to police spokesperson Colonel Priscilla Naidu. 

Solomon had been at the park for about 15 years and had known each of the animals since they were cubs, the park indicated.

Seaview Predator Park said:

We are all one big family and the loss of David has left every single one of us heartbroken and traumatised, specifically the staff members and volunteers who were present when the incident occurred.

"David's presence, jokes, willingness to teach our young volunteers and overall bubbling personality is going to be missed so much and we send our heartfelt condolences to his family and close friends. May his dear soul rest in peace," it said in a statement.

All the large cats have been safely contained in their enclosures and the electric fencing is fully functional. 

Seaview Predator Park added:

Jasper's incident is a first at the park and was obviously fuelled by hormones. Jasper is now quite calm and content, sharing an enclosure with Amber.

"We apologise to our visitors who had their visit cut short yesterday by the incident and would like to assure future visitors that they are quite safe. 

"At no stage yesterday was any member of the public in any immediate danger and our request that visitors leave immediately is standard protocol, should such an incident occur," the park added.

"To the guests at the restaurant who offered assistance and kept our young visitors and resident children occupied while we were handling the emergency, thank you for your kindness and support," she statement read.

Do you want to know more about this topic? Sign up for one of News24's 33 newsletters to receive the information you want in your inbox. Special newsletters are available to subscribers.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Zama zama crackdown: What are your thoughts on West Village residents taking the law into their own hands?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Authorities should bring in the army already
11% - 2611 votes
Illegal miners can't be scapegoated for all crime
51% - 12691 votes
What else did we expect without no proper policing
35% - 8554 votes
Vigilante groups are also part of the problem
3% - 850 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.