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Female Zoo Worker Killed In Tiger Attack

A female zoo worker who was injured in a tiger attack at an animal park in Cumbria has died, police have said.
Sarah McClay, 24, was in the big cat enclosure when she was mauled at South Lakes Wild Animal Park in Dalton-in-Furness on Friday afternoon.
She was taken by air ambulance to Royal Preston Hospital immediately after the incident, but she had been so badly mauled, she died four hours later.
Ms McClay was from the Barrow-in-Furness area. Cumbria police described her death as "tragic".
The force's Insp Matt Pearman said: "She did suffer some serious injuries; particularly neck and head injuries which proved to be fatal.
"Sarah's family have been informed. Quite clearly they are very shocked, very distressed by this episode and have requested to be given some time to come to terms with their loss."
The animal that carried out the attack was a Sumatran tiger. The park's website says it keeps both Amur (Siberian) and Sumatran tigers.
The animals can be up to three metres long and weigh around 300kg (47 stone).
Ms McClay had worked at the wildlife park for a number of years and was said to be "very proficient" in her work with big cats.
The incident happened at about 4pm on Friday, when staff were working as normal and the park was open to the public.
Police insist visitors were not at any risk but think some may have seen her being attacked.
In an interview with BBC Radio 5 Live, the park owner David Gill said: "For some unknown reason, an inexplicable reason, because there is no reason why she did it, she opened the door and went into the tiger enclosure and straight in to the tigers, and now we’ll never know why."
Sky News's Becky Johnson said the attack happened during Big Cat Feeding Time.
She said police are keen to find out which members of staff and members of the public witnessed the incident.
Officers are also understood to be keen to find out what safety procedures are in place.
The Detective Inspector who is investigating has told Sky News he believes the safety procedures are 'pretty stringent'.
The rules are said to be that no member of staff should be inside the tigers' cage at any point.
Becky Johnson says the owner of the wildlife park is adamant the tiger will not be put down.
Mr Gill has said that the tiger had been at the wildlife park for ten years since it was a cub and that it is a tiger's instinct to kill.
He said the tiger was not doing anything wrong, as the rules are that no one is supposed to be in the cage.
Mr Gill said in a statement: "The park is a very safe environment and never at any stage were any other public or staff in danger.
"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."
"With my deepest sympathies to Sarah's family and friends."
Barrow and Furness MP John Woodcock said: "The death of Sarah McClay has shaken the community, everyone's thoughts and prayers will be with her family and her friends and colleagues at the animal park."
"I hope the rigorous investigation that is now necessary will be carried out as soon as possible to strengthen safety at this local institution."
The zoo has said none of the tigers will be on display to the public on Saturday but the zoo itself will remain open.
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