37-year-old Antwerp resident Karen Aerts was killed Sunday by cheetahs at the Olmense Zoo in northern Belgium after she entered their cage. She was part of a special program that allowed her to "adopt" a cheetah, and helped pay for its food.
That cheetah, named Bongo, was also involved in her death. Zoo spokesman Jan Libot said that "Karen loved animals. Unfortunately the cheetahs betrayed her trust." She was dead when employees discovered her in the cage.
They believe she found a hiding spot in the park and came out after they closed, located the keys to the cage and let herself in. An animal rights group says the zoo should be closed for good, citing dangers to both visitors and animals alike.