Skip to main content

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.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 1:08 AM EDT, Thu April 17, 2014
The possibility of pockets of air remaining within the hull of the sunken South Korean ferry offers hope to rescuers -- and relatives -- say experts.
updated 5:46 AM EDT, Thu April 17, 2014
Despite hundreds still missing after the sinking of a South Korean ferry, reports of text messages keep hope alive that there may be survivors yet.
updated 8:37 AM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
Mentions of the 1989 Tiananmen Square student protests or political reform are still censored in China.
updated 1:31 PM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
It's hard not to be nervous, standing outside the Ebola isolation wards.
updated 5:31 PM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
Russia's propaganda worse now than at height of Cold War, says Leon Aron, director of Russian studies at AEI.
Sanctions imposed against Russia are working as a deterrent, President Barack Obama and other White House senior administration officials said.
updated 12:40 AM EDT, Thu April 17, 2014
A lack of progress in the search for MH370 is angering the families of victims.
updated 5:16 PM EDT, Mon April 14, 2014
Officials are launching their next option: an underwater vehicle to scan the ocean floor.
updated 11:09 AM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
The searches for the Titanic and Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 share common techniques.
updated 7:35 AM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
An "extraordinary" video shows what looks like the largest and most dangerous gathering of al Qaeda in years.
updated 11:35 PM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
This year's Pyongyang marathon was open to foreign amateurs.
updated 8:30 AM EDT, Mon April 14, 2014
Explore each side's case, reconstructed from Pistorius' court affidavit and the prosecution's case during last year's bail hearing.
updated 1:53 PM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
How are police preparing for this year's 26.2-mile marathon, which takes place Monday?
updated 1:02 PM EDT, Tue April 15, 2014
Katrina Karkazis
Romance is hard, for anyone. For people with intersex traits, love poses unique challenges.
updated 8:38 AM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
Suisse's Belinda Bencic returns the ball to France's Alize Cornet during the second match of the Fed Cup first round tennis tie France vs Switzerland on February 8, 2014 at the Pierre de Coubertin stadium in Paris. AFP PHOTO / KENZO TRIBOUILLARD (Photo credit should read KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images)
It's no easy matter becoming a world class tennis player. It's even harder when everyone (really -- everyone) is calling you the "new Martina Hingis".
updated 5:26 PM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
The "kill switch," a system for remotely disabling smartphones and wiping their data, will become standard in 2015.
updated 12:32 PM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
Browse through images you don't always see on news reports from CNN teams around the world.
ADVERTISEMENT