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Thursday, 31 July 2014

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Date set for inquest of Cumbrian woman mauled by tiger

The date has been set for the inquest into the death of a woman mauled by a tiger.

Sarah McClay photo
Sarah McClay

Sarah McClay died on May 24 last year after being attacked by a Sumatran tiger while at work at South Lakes Wild Animal Park, in south Cumbria.

It has been announced that the inquest will take place on July 14.

The hearing will be before a jury and is expected to last for three days.

The inquest was opened and adjourned by Ian Smith, coroner for South Cumbria, on June 3 last year.

Hundreds of people turned out to pay their respects at the funeral of Miss McClay, a former pupil of Dowdales School in Dalton.

The 24-year-old had been working in the tiger’s shelter when Padang, who was born at the animal park 11 years earlier, grabbed her, dragged her 100 yards into the enclosure and inflicted serious head and spinal injuries.

Miss McClay was airlifted by the North West Air Ambulance but she died in the Royal Preston Hospital. An investigation was launched by police and Barrow Council, as the zoo’s licensing authority.

However, the police investigation concluded and police said there was no evidence of criminal conduct in the case. A spokeswoman for Barrow Council said the inquest would include evidence gathered by the council’s investigation, which is still ongoing.

A spokesman for the McClay family said the family did not wish to comment due to the legal proceedings.

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