Tigers Trap Man To Death: Zookeeper Mauro Lagiard, 72, Torn To Pieces Before Italy Medic Arrived [VIDEO, REPORT]

By Staff Reporter on July 3, 2013 12:45 PM EDT

tiger mauls zookeeper
A tiger mauls zookeeper Mauro Lagiard to death. Lagiard was dismembered before responders could reach him. (Photo: Creative Commons)

A tiger mauls a zookeeper to death and ate him at a closed-down zoo near Turin in northern Italy. The shocking incident occurred Tuesday night when 72-year-old zookeeper Mauro Lagiard entered the enclosing to feed the tigers chicken meatballs. Lagiard's 73-year-old wife Carla looked on helplessly from outside the cage.

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According to reports, Mauro Lagiard was attacked by a male tiger, named Samir. The alpha tiger went in for the kill and was quickly followed by two others in the pack. Five recently born tiger cubs looked on. Lagiard was dragged for about 100 feet through the dirt, screaming as he was torn to pieces.

Lagiard's wife Carla desperately raced for the phone to call for medics. Unfortunately, 73-year-old Carla requires the assistance of two walking sticks to move around. What's more, the presence of hungry tigers meant the medics could not get close to Lagiard's body for another half an hour after arriving to the zoo.

Mauro and Carla Lagiard have been keepers of the tigers for many years. In fact the tiger that mauled him to death on Tuesday is the same tiger that attacked him two years ago, causing Mauro Lagiard to lie in the hospital for eight months.

However, the owner refused to place blame on the giant animals and claimed that it was his aftershave that confused the animal.

Following the brutal attack, Mrs. Lagiard spoke with reporters about the incident. "My husband and Samir did not get on. If I had gone it would never have happened."

According to neighbors of the Lagiard, the animals acted aggressively and appeared malnourished as they were fed only twice a week. The couple originally kept tigers and leopards at a villa with a huge garden but issues with some neighbors caused an eviction and some cats were almost put down. Thankfully, animal sanctuary owner Martinat Oasis offered space at his park. Tourists will be allowed to view the large animals, but the maintenance of the tigers rested on the couple.

A dwindling number of visitors and mounting bills in 2010 have caused the zoo to close, causing most of the animals to be transported elsewhere for sanctuary. The leopards and tigers remained. In addition, five tiger cubs were born a few months ago, further straining the couple's ability to care for the animals. Following the deadly mauling of Mauro Lagiard, the apha tiger Samir will likely be put down.

Last month, Exotic Feline Rescue Center worker Marissa Dub was attacked by a 300 pound male tiger. Thankfully, park workers sprayed the tiger with a hose and lured it with meat to successfully reach Marissa and separate her from the tiger. Marissa Dub lived.

To learn more about tiger attacks, watch the video below:

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