An inquest is set to begin into the tragic death of a Cumbrian zoo keeper mauled by a tiger last year.
Sarah McClay died from her injuries after being attacked by a Sumatran tiger at South Lakes Wild Animal Park in Dalton-in-Furness.
She was transferred from the wildlife park by air ambulance to Royal Preston Hospital, after being hurt while carrying out her daily duties in the park’s big cat enclosure.
At the time of the incident in May last year, police said the enclosure was made up of a number of indoor and outdoor compartments which each had a lockable door.
Zoo employee accident
As part of their everyday tasks, keepers would enter various parts of the enclosure throughout the day, but measures were said to be in force that would make sure animals and keepers were kept apart at all times.
Last year, the owner and founder of the park, David Gill, described Miss McClay as a very experienced worker in dealing with the care of big cats.
The incident occurred at around 4pm with other members of staff working at the site and when the park – which is licensed by Barrow Borough Council – was open to the public.
The inquest is taking place at County Hall, Kendal, in front of a jury. It is forecast to last six days.
Lesser injuries sustained in animal attacks can seriously affect a person’s ability to work, while also causing physical and psychological injuries.
Zoo employees are particularly susceptible to such injuries, not to mention the potential for slips, trips and falls. Accident Advice Helpline can offer advice and provide round-the-clock guidance to claimants by calling our helpline on 0800 689 0500.
Source: BBC News
Date Published: September 16, 2014
Author: David Brown