Rare white tiger kills zookeeper in southern Japan

A rare white tiger mauled a zookeeper to death in southern Japan on Monday, The Telegraph reported.

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Akira Furusho, 40, was discovered bleeding from bites to his neck inside a compound at the Hirakawa Zoological Park in Kagoshima just after the zoo closed Monday.

The 5-year-old, 375-pound male tiger, named Riku, is one of four at the zoo. The animal was tranquilized with a dart after the attack, but it was not killed at the request of Furusho's family, CNN reported.

"A zookeeper was found collapsed in a cage, bleeding," a local police official told Agence France Presse. The official said Akira was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, the Express Tribune reported.

According to zoo officials, the tiger was scheduled to be moved to a sleeping chamber, and there are rules against keepers entering the cage before the animal is transferred, The Telegraph reported.

The zoo was open Tuesday, but the area around the tigers’ cage was cordoned off, the newspaper reported.

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