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Zoo to be prosecuted after worker killed by tiger

Zoo keeper Sarah McClay. Photo: ITV Border

A Cumbrian zoo is facing prosecution for alleged health and safety breaches, after one of its keepers was mauled to death by a tiger.

Sarah McClay, 24, died at South Lakes Safari Zoo in May 2013, after being attacked by a Sumatran tiger called Padang while she worked.

The zoo was formerly called South Lakes Wild Animal Park.

An Inquest into her death heard that the tiger walked through an open door from the 'Dark Den', into the keeper's corridor, where it attacked her.

Now, Barrow Borough Council has decided to prosecute the Zoo, and its Director, David Gill, following its investigation into Sarah's death.

David Gill, the Zoo Director. Credit: ITV Border

The Council is prosecuting the Zoo, and Director, for alleged health and safety law breaches, relating to Sarah McClay's death.

It's also prosecuting them for alleged health and safety breaches after a zoo keeper fell from a ladder while preparing to feed the big cats, in July 2014.

And there will be a further health and safety prosecution against South Lakes Safari Zoo Ltd and its Director, David Gill, regarding an alleged failure to comply with two improvement notices, served by the council.

The proceedings commenced against South Lakes Safari Zoo Ltd are for the alleged failure to discharge its duties under Section 2 (1), 3 (1) and 21 of the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 ("The Act") and Regulation 3 of the Management of Health and Safety Work Regulations 1999.

The same offences are alleged in relation to Mr David Gill in his capacity of Director of the Company, in line with the provisions contained within section 37 of The Act.

An initial court date has been set for 27 August 2015, at 1:45pm at Barrow Magistrates Court.