updated 3/23/2010 12:13:24 PM ET 2010-03-23T16:13:24

A zoo in Spain's Canary Islands says three tigers escaped from their cage after a mistake by an employee and were later shot by police.

Cocodrilo Park on the island of Gran Canaria says a zoo employee cleaning outside the cage before opening time Tuesday mistakenly pushed a button that opened the door of the cage.

The park says in a statement that four of the seven tigers inside the cage stayed put but three escaped. Civil Guard police later shot and killed them. No one was injured, and there were no visitors in the zoo at the time.

The park said the cleaning employee was the only person near the cage when the animals got out.

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