Sumatran tigers escape Borneo zoo and kill zookeeper, one shot dead and the other on the loose

A Sumatran tiger.
A Sumatran tiger. Photo credit: File

A Sumatran tiger has been shot dead after two of the critically-endangered animals escaped from a zoo and killed a keeper in Borneo, with the second still on the loose. 

The tigers, both about 18 months old, escaped from Singkawang's Sinka Zoo in the Indonesian province of West Kalimantan, reports AFP

Days of torrential rain caused a landslide on Friday, opening a tunnel that allowed the tigers to escape their enclosure, according to reports.

The body of a 47-year-old zookeeper was located by authorities nearby with scratches and bite wounds. A cassowary, ostrich, and monkey were also found dead near the enclosure.

Police and conservation officials were immediately dispatched to search for the tigers, according to reports. Locals were advised to stay indoors and nearby tourist attractions were closed as a precaution.

Conservationists initially attempted to tranquilise the tiger but were forced to shoot due to its aggressive behaviour.

"We tried with a tranquiliser gun first but it didn't work, so we were forced to shoot the tiger because it was already behaving very aggressively," Sadtata Noor Adirahmanta, the head of a local conservation agency, told AFP.

"We were afraid it would escape to the nearest neighbourhood. Although we tried our best to catch it alive, our priority is humans' safety."

Authorities are still searching for the second tiger in the dense forest surrounding the zoo.

Sumatran tigers are considered critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, with fewer than 400 believed to remain in the wild.