The proud parents of a zookeeper who was killed by the tiger she looked after at Hamerton Zoo Park have released a tribute to their “caring, generous” daughter.
Rosa King died at the Zoo on Monday after being attacked by the big cat in an enclosure.
Rosa (34) had been a respected senior keeper at the zoo, located to the north of Huntingdon, for many years, and friends said she had a passion for looking after animals.
An inquest into her death will open next week.
A statement released from Rosa’s family reads: “Peter and Andrea, the proud parents of Rosa King, would like to thank all those that have shown an abundance of love and sympathy at the passing of our beloved daughter.
“Rosa was a dedicated professional when it came to her work.
“She lived and breathed a vocation that meant the world to her, living her dream.
“She had a care and understanding of her animals that was a joy and privilege to behold.
“As well as our daughter, Rosa was a big sister to her brother Mark, who like his parents had nothing but love and admiration for her.
“Rosa was passionate about animals from the age of two when she first sat on the back of a horse. After that, her life was always going to be about animals.
“She lived her life to the full and was a very caring, generous person.
“She would stand up for those who couldn’t stand up for themselves including the animals and campaigned and raised money for animal charities.
“Rosa completed a skydive in 2014 to raise money for Animal Asia and then travelled to China to visit the sanctuary for Moon bears to see for herself the work they do, and just recently returned from a visit to a Sun bear rehabilitation centre in Borneo.
“Rosa’s whole attitude to the animal kingdom is probably best summed up in the following statement: ‘When I look into the eyes of an animal I do not see an animal. I see a living being. I see a friend. I feel a soul’.
“As a family, we now kindly ask for privacy in this matter.”