23 Sep 2015

Hamilton Zoo holds blessing service for keeper

3:51 pm on 23 September 2015

A blessing service has been held at Hamilton Zoo, three days after a tiger mauled a keeper to death there.

Samantha Kudeweh

Samantha Kudeweh Photo: Supplied

Senior keeper Samantha Kudeweh died at the scene after being attacked by an 11-year-old male tiger on Sunday.

Late this morning, staff, zoo volunteers and city council staff, along with the mayor and councillors, held a ceremony inside one of the tiger enclosures.

Ms Kudeweh's husband Richard, who also works at the zoo, attended.

A blessing was carried out by kaumatua and kuia from Waikato-Tainui and mana whenua and was followed by waiata.

The karakia was to bless and cleanse the site before the zoo reopens to the public tomorrow.