Live updates


Deadly 6ft snake found in woodland beauty spot

Credit: MEN Syndication

The body of a deadly snake has been found in a popular beauty spot.

The 6ft boa constrictor was discovered by a man riding his bike at The Coppice woodland in Poynton at the weekend.

The Manchester Evening News reports that it has now been recovered by a reptile enthusiast Lloyd Cooper and a wildlife officer from Cheshire Police.

Lloyd, 34, from Macclesfield, has warned against releasing exotic pets into the wild.

It is terribly irresponsible from whoever dumped the snake and desperately sad for the snake who I suspect has died from the cold.

Snakes are very sensitive to temperature and would not be able to survive. It would have been dead within days of being left.

However, if this had happened in the few months time it could have been a different story.

A boa of this size is quite capable of biting a human if provoked and is certainly capable of killing a dog or cat.

– Lloyd Cooper, reptile enthusiast


Tributes to tiger victim

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
Tributes to Sarah McClay

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
Load more updates