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Siberian tiger kills animal keeper at zoo in Zürich

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A siberian tiger walks in the pool of its compound at the Schoenbrunn zoo on a warm and sunny day in Vienna, Austria, on Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013.
A siberian tiger walks in the pool of its compound at the Schoenbrunn zoo on a warm and sunny day in Vienna, Austria, on Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Hans Punz
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A zoo keeper in Zürich, Switzerland was killed by a Siberian or Amur tiger on Saturday, police said in a statement.

The 55-year-old woman died at the zoo after being attacked by the tiger despite rescue forces' resuscitation efforts.

The zoo's emergency centre received a message that an animal keeper in the tiger facility had been attacked by a Siberian tiger around 1:20 pm CET on Saturday.

"A group of zookeepers immediately went to the facility. They succeeded in luring Amur tiger Irina away from the animal keeper, out of the facility and into the stable," the Zürich zoo said in a statement.

Statements from the zoo and Zürich city police said it was unclear why the animal keeper was in the facility at the same time as the tiger.

Police said there was a team set up to help employees and visitors who witnessed the attack.

The Siberian tiger is the largest cat species, with females weighing up to 185 kilograms, according to the Zürich zoo.

They are an endangered species with a total population in the hundreds. Poaching is one of the main threats to their population.