Tiger attack death inquest

An inquest into the death of a zoo-keeper at a Cumbrian wild-life park is expected to be opened and adjourned this week.

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"No risk to public from animals escaping" at South Lakes wildlife park

Police investigating the death of a zoo keeper at a South Lakes wildlife park have said that they do not believe that there is any risk to the public of animals escaping.

25-year-old Sarah McClay died after she was mauled to death by a tiger whilst going about her routine duties.

Investigations are continuing into her death.

"At this time this investigation is being done on behalf of HM Coroner.

"It is vitally important that we discover what exactly happened in the big cat enclosure building that led to Sarah coming into contact with the tiger.

"I want to emphasise there is no suggestion of any foul play or any issue of suicide or self-harm from the enquiries we have made and evidence we have.

"What has become apparent from our enquiries with witnesses is that Sarah was going about her routine duties and was in the staff section of the enclosure building, which animals are not allowed access to, when a tiger has entered it from an adjacent pen and confronted her.

"The tiger has then attacked Sarah, taking her from the building into the open-air external enclosure area where Sarah was left and later attended by staff and paramedics.

"We are still trying to establish exactly how and why the tiger has been able

to get from the pen into the staff area and at the moment believe this to be because of a human or system error, or mechanical failing, or combination of both.

"The building was secured at the time and we do not believe there was any risk to the general public from animals escaping into public areas of the park.

"We are also conscious the events have had a deep impact upon Sarah's work colleagues and people at the Animal Park and we would express our sympathies to them too."

– Detective Chief Inspector Bob Qazi

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