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Tributes to tiger victim

Floral tributes to Sarah McClay
Floral tributes to Sarah McClay

Floral tributes have been laid in tribute to a zoo keeper who died after being attacked by tiger.

Sarah McClay, 24, died when she was mauled by a Sumatran tiger at South Lakes Wild Animal Park, in Dalton-in-Furness, Cumbria, on Friday afternoon.

Cumbria Police are investigating.

Flowers laid in tribute to Sarah McClay
Flowers laid in tribute to Sarah McClay
Flowers laid in tribute to Sarah McClay
Flowers laid in tribute to Sarah McClay
Tributes to Sarah McClay
Tributes to Sarah McClay

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Family anger at Tiger blame claim

The brother of a woman mauled to death by a tiger has hit out at claims that the attack was her own fault.

Sarah McClay, 24, died when she was mauled by a Sumatran tiger at South Lakes Wild Animal Park, in Dalton-in-Furness, Cumbria, on Friday afternoon.

Yesterday her brother Stephen said the family had been hurt by suggestions by the park's owner, David Gill, that she had died because of "keeper error" and a "sad error of judgment", the Sun said.

"These are unsubstantiated claims by a man with an obvious axe to grind."

"My family and I feel his comments are ill-advised, premature and disrespectful.

"He's laying the blame squarely at her door before the official police inquiries have begun. It has caused hurt to our family."

– Sarah's brother Stephen

Detectives do not suspect foul play or suicide but say Ms McClay was doing her routine duties in an enclosure to which animals are not allowed access - when she was then confronted by the animal.

Officers are now trying to establish whether this was due to a technical fault or human error.

"We have made a statement that from the investigations that have taken place it is clear that this tragedy was caused by a sad error of judgment and breach of protocols, in essence, keeper error.

"This is not blame, it is not anything but defining the facts as they appear.

"This does not mean Sarah killed herself on purpose it means simply she died from her own tragic mistake."

– Comments from David Gill on the park's Facebook page

Police investigate Tiger maul death

Police investigating the death of a woman at South Lakes Wild Animal Park, Dalton are working to figure if human or technical failure led to her death.

Sarah McClay aged 24 years, was attacked by a Sumatran tiger whilst, police believe, going about her routine duties.

The enclosure concerned consists of a number of compartments both indoor and outdoor connected by lockable doors. Systems are in place the ensure that animals and keepers remain apart at all times. At some stage this has failed and the animal and Sarah came together with tragic consequences.

The police are working to establish whether this was a result of human or technical factors.

Police are not currently treating this as a criminal investigation. Until the investigation is completed officers are keeping an open mind as to the exact causes of this tragedy.

Our thoughts at this time are with the family and friends of Sarah and we will continue our investigation to establish the exact details of what happened as soon and as thoroughly as possible.

– Detective Chief Inspector Bob Qazi

Zoo remains open after keeper death

South Lakes Animal Park is open to the public today Credit: Dave Brown, ITV Granada

The zoo where a keeper was mauled to death by a tiger is open to the public today.

Sarah McClay, 24, was attacked by a Sumatran tiger at South Lakes Wild Animal Park, in Dalton-in-Furness, Cumbria, yesterday afternoon.

She was taken by air ambulance to Royal Preston Hospital but died later from her injuries.

Today the park was open to the public as normal today.

Members of the public in the zoo Credit: Dave Brown, ITV Granada

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Woman seriously injured in tiger attack

A member of staff has been seriously injured by a tiger at South Lakes Wild Animal Park, Dalton in Furness. The 24-year-old woman was mauled by the animal in its enclosure. She was taken by ambulance to Preston Royal Infirmary.

The tiger has not escaped and the park said there's no risk to the public. It has closed early and all visitors have left the park. Police and Barrow Borough Council are investigating.

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