Safari zoo pleads guilty to health and safety breaches

A female zoo keeper was killed by a tiger in 2013 leading to a health and safety inspection

A safari zoo in Cumbria has pleaded guilty to health and safety breaches, after one of its female keepers was attacked and killed by a tiger.

The zoo keeper, named as Sarah McClay, died at South Lakes Safari Zoo Ltd, Dalton-in-Furness, Cumbria, in May 2013. She was attacked as she worked close to the Sumatran tiger, which was called Padang.

South Lakes safari zoo has pleaded guilty to health and safety breaches

The safari zoo has pleaded guilty to health and safety breaches

The zoo has acknowledged that before and on the date of the attack, they did not make secure the health, safety and welfare of employees within the work place, which includes Sarah McClay, concerning the care of large cats.

South Lakes Safari Zoo also pleaded guilty to not making sure that anyone not working for the company on the date of the attack, were not at risk concerning health and safety.

Miss McClay, from Barrow-in-Furness, was airlifted from the zoo, to hospital, after the attack but suffered unsurvivable multiple injuries and was formally pronounced dead.

She had worked at the zoo for over two years and had a lot of experience in working with large cats.

The large cats should not have been able to enter the corridor where Miss McClay was carrying out her feeding and cleaning work but the male Sumatran tiger walked right through a door to where she was.

Work colleagues of Miss McClay came running to the scene of the attack and noticed that the door to one of the tiger’s dens was open instead of being locked.

During the inquest, it was heard that the bolt which was located on the top of the dark den door, the door which was open just before the attack, was discovered to be faulty.

Barrow Borough Council, who license the park, are responsible for carrying out the prosecution case and it’s anticipated that the company will be given a financial penalty.

Padang the tiger was not put down after the death of Miss McClay but was put to sleep in March this year due to “welfare complications”.

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