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Last Updated: Sunday, 25 February 2007, 05:06 GMT
Jaguar mauls US keeper to death
Undated photo from Denver Zoo of the jaguar
Jaguars have very powerful jaws
A female zookeeper has died after being mauled by a jaguar at Denver Zoo in the United States, officials have said.

The zookeeper, who was not named, was attacked inside the jaguar's enclosure on Saturday morning, prompting armed employees to rush to her aid.

They shot and killed the animal after it threatened them, and the zoo was closed after the incident.

The jaguar, a six-year-old male named Jorge weighing 140lbs (64kg), came to Denver Zoo from Bolivia in 2005.

"We are deeply saddened by this loss. It is with utmost sympathy that our condolences go out to this zookeeper's family and loved ones," Denver Zoo president Clayton Freiheit said in a statement on the zoo's website.

An investigation is under way to determine how the mauling occurred.

The zookeeper was taken to hospital where she died of her injuries.

Zoo officials said that the public was never in any danger and that the zoo planned to reopen on Sunday, although the Feline Buildings would remain closed.

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