A tiger has attacked a zoo keeper at a wildlife park in Cambridgeshire who has died as the result of her injuries. The incident took place at Hamerton Zoo Park at around 11.15 BST.

Cambridgeshire Police said: "A tiger had entered an enclosure with a keeper. Sadly the female zoo keeper died at the scene." Zoo visitors were led away from the wildlife park after it was evacuated due to a “serious incident”, according to police.

Officials reported that the death "is not believed to be suspicious", according to the BBC. Claims on social media were made that a tiger had escaped from its enclosure, but this was denied by a zoo spokeswoman.

A Cambridgeshire Police spokesman said: "We can confirm that no animals have escaped and members of the public are safe."

Public kept from panicking

Eyewitness Jeff Knott, told the Press Association: "We had been in the zoo since about 10.30am and heard/seen nothing until asked to leave about 11.45am.”

He added: "Staff were very calm and professional. All visitors around us were leaving in a very calm manner - no running, shouting or anything similar."

A paramedic crew and two rapid response vehicles were also in attendance alongside the police. Antonia Brickell from Magpas Air Ambulance denied reports that visitors had been "running in terror".

Hamerton Zoo Park said in a statement: "This appears to have been a freak accident. At no point during the incident did any animals escape their enclosures, and at no point was public safety affected in any way.

"All our thoughts and sympathies are with our colleagues, friends and families at this dreadful time. The park will be closed from tomorrow 30th May, and we will give more information as soon as we can."

Frantic attempts to distract tiger

An eyewitness described the scenes as zoo staff tried to lure the animal away from a member of staff.

Pete Davies was visiting the wildlife park with his partner and son.

He said: “The zoo keepers had their heads in their hands, and didn’t know what to do, throwing meat over the enclosure to entice the tiger away. They shouted stuff. It went on for too long. Then we were ushered out and left.

“We didn’t see anything because it happened behind a mound of grass.

It seems like a tiger has turned on a zoo keeper.”

The zoo is home to around 500 animals including Malaysian tigers, Bengal tigers, cheetahs, wolves, foxes, kangaroos as well as a variety of birds and reptiles. An investigation is under way, the zoo said.

A new enclosure for Malaysian tigers was opened at the zoo in July 2016.

Cheetah escaped in 2008

This is not the first time that Hamerton Zoo Park has had an incident involving one of its animals. A cheetah escaped in October 2008 and found by a young boy in his family home's back garden. It's believed the wild cat escaped through a malfunctioning electrical fence.

In June 2016, South Lakes Safari Zoo in Cumbria was fined £255,000 for health and safety breaches after a Sumatran tiger mauled keeper Sarah McClay to death.