A zoo where a keeper was mauled to death by a tiger has been fined for health and safety breaches.
Sarah McClay, 24, originally from Glasgow, died at South Lakes Wild Animal Park in Dalton-in-Furness, south Cumbria, in May 2013.
A Sumatran tiger, which got through an unlocked gate, left deep puncture wounds in her neck and body.
The zoo, now known as South Lakes Safari Zoo, was fined 297,500 at Preston Crown Court.
Some 42,500 of the fine was imposed for health and safety law breaches, which the company admitted, relating to when a zoo keeper fell from a ladder while preparing to feed big cats in July 2014.
The zoo must also pay 150,000 prosecution costs over the next 10 years.
It had previously pleaded guilty to contravening the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and failing to ensure people who were not staff were not exposed to risk on the day in question.
It accepted it had not sufficiently addressed risks arising from a defective bolt on the door that was open immediately before the attack.
The zoo’s owner, David Gill, 55, had faced individual charges on the same allegations but was formally acquitted.
Miss McClay, who lived in Barrow-in-Furness, suffered “unsurvivable” multiple injuries in the attack and was airlifted to hospital where she was formally pronounced dead.
In September 2014, an inquest jury in Kendal ruled, in a narrative verdict, that the tiger got to Miss McClay by entering two open internal sliding gates within the tiger house and then an open door that led on to the corridor.
Systems were in place at the park to ensure animals and keepers remained apart at all times through indoor and outdoor compartments connected by lockable self-closing doors, it heard.
Miss McClay, had worked at the park for more than two years and was experienced with working with big cats, which she saw as a “privilege”.
The family asked for the tiger, Padang, not to be put down at the time but he was put to sleep because of his age this year.
Mr Justice Turner said “it should not have been possible” for the tiger to gain access to where Miss McClay was working.
He said: “But as a substantially contributory cause as a result of a door-closing mechanism failure, it did.
“The result was as tragic as it was foreseeable. The tiger attacked and Sarah was fatally injured.”
After sentencing, Miss McClay’s mother Fiona, said: “We can’t function yet with a member of our family missing, we have got to learn how to do that and we haven’t got to that stage yet.
“I feel like the zoo pleading guilty, that went a good way to that process… that was a step for us to move forward knowing that somebody else was responsible.”
Zoo’s chequered past
A three-ton white rhino escapes from its enclosure and goes onto neighbouring land, where it had to be shot. David Gill later fined 10,000 for for endangering the public and failing to have adequate barriers.
Three giraffes that died between September 2000 and September 2001 suffered tetanus, heart failure and vitamin deficiencies. The park changes the food given to the animals.
The park is rocked by the sudden deaths of two Sumatran tigers and a kangaroo. One tiger is later found to have had liver and kidney tumours.
An escaped South American coati is captured using a tranquiliser dart after it wandered into a garden.
A government inspector says escapes at the park are “a matter for concern” and recommends procedures to prevent animals using an overhead walkway as an escape route.
A faulty electric heater is blamed for causing a fire at the zoo in which 30 lemurs died.
A missing South American Capuchin monkey is recaptured in a church, five days after escaping from an enclosure at the park.
Keeper Sarah McClay, 24, is mauled by a tiger at the park and later dies in hospital. A inquest jury found the tiger got through an open door to a corridor she was working in. A narrative verdict was recorded.
Government inspectors express concern about vet cover, public access to parrot feeding stations and firearms training at the park.
Mr Gill and the now-renamed South Lakes Safari Zoo are charged with health and safety breaches.
The zoo admits health and safety breaches and is fined 297, 500. Mr Gill, 55, who faced individual charges on the same allegations is formally acquitted.