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Zoo Worker is Mauled to Death By Tiger in Freak Accident

Posted in: Workplace Injuries 

Described by colleagues as a “very experienced” staff member, who was both “proficient and passionate” at her job, was mauled to death by a tiger on Friday.

Sarah McClay (24) — originally from Glasgow — worked as a zookeeper at South Lakes Wild Animal Park, near Dalton-in-Furness, Cumbria and was attacked by a Sumatran Tiger when in the staff area of the big cat enclosure. The reason for the tiger being in the staff enclosure is unknown, but detectives have put it down to either “human or mechanical” error. Police believe that the tiger found its way to the staff area and then dragged Ms. McClay into its pen, an open-air enclosure, where members of the public witnessed it mauling her to death. 

Shots were fired to scare off the male tiger, allowing staff and paramedics to attend to Sarah. She was taken to Preston Royal Hospital but later died of head and neck injuries

Det Chief Insp Bob Qazi, of Cumbria Police, told the media that:

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.”

Ms McClay’s family is very thankful for the efforts of the paramedics, the Cumbria Ambulance Service, the North West Air Ambulance and the Royal Preston Hospital. A donation site has been set up in remembrance of Sarah McClay with all donations going towards red squirrel conservation. The park has remained open, as owners have stated that the public is not at risk. 

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