'Tiger Whisperer' mauled to death by large male tiger in an American zoo

The experienced zoo keeper was preparing for a routine talk when the animal attacked her

A seasoned zookeeper  has been mauled and killed by a tiger at a zoo in Florida.

Stacey Konwiser, who is otherwise referred to as the 'Tiger Whisperer' by her co-workers, suffered a 'severe bite' from one of the male tigers while preparing for a 'Tiger Talk' in front of a public audience.

Ms Konwiser was airlifted to a nearby hospital after she was attacked by the cat, where she was later pronounced dead as a result of her injuries.

The tiger was immediately tranquilised after the horrifying incident and the guests were evacuated with many of them huddling in the gift shop.

Officials at the zoo say the visitors were never in any danger.

David Hanna of the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium said:

"This is an incident that is beyond rare. We have an important job here to educate our public about the animal world."

Ms Konwiser had reportedly been working at the zoo for three years and the talk she was preparing for, was a daily event at the facility. The 37-year-old spent much of her time there working with the Malayan tigers.

Police are investigating the circumstances of her death.