A family visiting the Metro-Richmond Zoo Saturday is outraged after they witnessed a deadly tiger attack. They say, children were present and zoo staff didn't respond quickly enough.
In cell phone video taken by the family, the two tigers appear to be playing. McCoy, a five-year-old white Bengal tiger, is lying on her back when she takes a swipe at Kumba.
Kumba, a two and a half year-old Bengal tiger, then grabs McCoy's neck and doesn't let go.
The Duross family provided their video to NBC12 but didn't want to appear on camera. They're angry, they say, because calls to zoo staff went unanswered until it was too late.
Zoo director Jim Andelin calls the attack "tragic" but says it couldn't have been prevented.
"It was just immediate," said Andelin. "He grabbed her by the throat and there was nothing we could have done."
From the beginning of the attack until a zoo employee arrives is approximately five minutes.
Andelin says the two tigers are family members and have lived together for eight months without an issue.
McCoy was buried at the zoo and Kumba remains in isolation. Zoo staff members are currently trying to decide how to integrate Kumba back into the tiger exhibit.
The USDA is the federal agency that monitors zoos. It said when one animals kills another, it's not necessarily a violation and is not all that uncommon; it happens in the wild and in captivity.
Copyright 2012 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.
WWBT-TV NBC 12
P.O. Box 12
On Your Side
Video and Pics