Family of Denver Zoo jaguar victim wants answers

written by: Jeffrey Wolf , Web Producer
created: 6/7/2007 9:28:10 PM
Last updated: 6/7/2007 9:56:08 PM

DENVER – The family of a woman killed by a jaguar at the Denver Zoo released a statement Thursday criticizing the zoo and its investigation into the incident.

Zookeeper Ashlee Pfaff, 27, was killed on February 24. The jaguar attacked Pfaff through an open door in its exhibit.

Other zookeepers then killed the animal.

Earlier this week, the Denver Police Department released a report which found no criminal wrongdoing in the incident. However, why the door to the exhibit was left open is still a mystery.

Pfaff’s family released a statement Thursday:

“It has been over three months since our precious Ashlee was tragically attacked and killed by a jaguar at the Denver Zoo. The family of Ashlee Pfaff in its quest to find out exactly what happened, how it happened, and why it happened has made numerous requests to the Denver Zoo for information:

We have requested investigation reports, and to date, have received none.

We have requested photographs, and to date, have received none.

We have requested video, and to date, have received none.

We have requested personnel files and to date, have received none.

We have requested training files and to date, have received none.

We have heard that there have been countless interviews, but we have yet to see any. So, we must say at this time, we still have many more questions than answers.”

The Denver Zoo says it is still actively investigating the accident. 9NEWS attempted to contact the zoo Thursday night for a comment on the statement, but they were unavailable.

In addition, zoo officials say they are cooperating fully with the USDA and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which are also looking into what happened.

The zoo will not release any of its findings until its internal investigation is concluded.

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