Mauro Lagiard, 72, had previously owned the tigers and carried on feeding them despite the zoo near Turin being closed since 2009.
Lagiard was attacked after entering the tiger's pen to feed them, La Stampa reported.
His wife Carla raised the alarm, but the emergency services arrived too late, La Repubblica reported.
“They said the animals were their life,” Giorgio Martinat, the zoo's owner, told La Stampa. “They didn’t want to be separated, even if they were old and physically weak.”