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UK zoo worker dies after being mauled by tiger

By CNN Staff
updated 8:41 PM EDT, Sun May 26, 2013
Amateur video shows a tiger inside the big cat enclosure at South Lakes Wild Animal Park.
Amateur video shows a tiger inside the big cat enclosure at South Lakes Wild Animal Park.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Sarah McClay, 24, died after being mauled by a tiger
  • She was working in enclosure when she was attacked
  • Police are trying to determine what exactly happened

(CNN) -- Investigators are trying to determine what led to the fatal mauling of a zoo worker by a tiger in northwest England, police said Saturday.

Sarah McClay, 24, died after being attacked Friday by a Sumatran tiger while working in the big cat enclosure building at the South Lakes Wild Animal Park in Dalton-in-Furness, the Cumbria Constabulary said.

The enclosure has various indoor and outdoor compartments connected by lockable doors, police said. Keepers enter various parts of the enclosure to perform duties.

"However, systems are in place (to) ensure that animals and keepers remain apart at all times," the constabulary said in a statement posted on its website. "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."

Zoo owner David S. Gill asked for the public's support, understanding and prayers in the aftermath.

"The park is a very safe environment and never at any stage were any other public or staff in danger," Gill posted Saturday on the zoo's Facebook page.

"We have been given the all clear by the authorities after initial investigations yesterday and we hope you will allow us all to work through this tragic event."

Worker mauled to death at Californian sanctuary by her favorite lion

CNN's Neda Farshbaf and Ed Payne contributed to this report.

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