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Florida Zookeeper Dies after Being Attacked by Tiger

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (CBS NEWS) -- A zoo employee died Friday after being attacked by a tiger at the Palm Beach Zoo, CBS affiliate WPEC reported.

West Palm Beach Police said it happened inside a contained area just before 1:45 p.m. Animal control officers and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission also responded.

Police said the tiger was tranquilized. Authorities had to wait until the drugs took effect on the tiger before rescue crews could get to the female victim.

A zoo employee called the situation a "staff emergency." Guests were sent to the gift shop for safety, and safety protocols were initiated, according to the zoo.

The zoo was evacuated and will remain closed for the next two days, according to spokeswoman Naki Carter.

Carter told WPEC the tiger did not escape its enclosure. The incident took place in the night house where the tigers sleep as the zookeeper was preparing for a "tiger talk" with zoo guests.

Carter added that no one inside the zoo was in danger.

The male tiger invovled in the attack was one of four tigers at the zoo. It was later put down.

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