Parents of zoo keeper Rosa King pay tribute to daughter who was ‘living her dream’

Rosa King

Rosa King - Credit: Archant

The proud parents of zoo keeper Rosa King have paid tribute to their ‘passionate and caring’ daughter following her death.

The 33-year-old died at Hamerton Zoo Park on Monday, with visitors evacuated and emergency services remaining at the venue throughout the day while an investigation took place into the incident.

Peter and Andrea King have thanked all those that have shown an abundance of love and sympathy following the death of their “beloved daughter”.

In a statement the family said: “Rosa was a dedicated professional when it came to her work.

“She lived and breathed a vocation that meant the world to her, living her dream.

“She had a care and understanding of her animals that was a joy and privilege to behold.

“As well as our daughter, Rosa was a big sister to her brother Mark, who like his parents, had nothing but love and admiration for her.

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“Rosa was passionate about animals from the age of two when she first sat on the back of a horse. After that, her life was always going to be about animals.

“She lived her life to the full and was a very caring, generous person.

“She would stand up for those who couldn’t stand up for themselves including the animals and campaigned and raised money for animal charities.

“Rosa completed a skydive in 2014 to raise money for Animal Asia and then travelled to China to visit the sanctuary for Moon Bears to see for herself the work they do, and just recently returned from a visit to a Sun Bear rehabilitation centre in Borneo.

“Rosa’s whole attitude to the animal kingdom is probably best summed up in the following statement: ‘When I look into the eyes of an animal I do not see an animal. I see a living being. I see a friend. I feel a soul’.”

Emergency services were called to the park, in Hamerton Road, shortly after 11am, on Monday, and visitors to the venue were swiftly evacuated.

Both the Magpas air ambulance and East of England Ambulance Service were called to attend the scene but, in a statement released by Cambridgeshire police, it was confirmed that a keeper had died.

Huntingdonshire District Council and Cambridgeshire police are working together to undertake an investigation into the incident.