Jaguar that chewed off one of its paws
A HORRIFIC list of animal deaths at a zoo in Cumbria was revealed in February.
Among the 4 6 deaths between January 2013 and September 2016 at South Lakes Safari Zoo were a monkey whose decomposed body was found behind a radiator and a jaguar put to sleep after it chewed off one of its own paws.
In 2013, zookeeper Sarah McClay, 24, was mauled to death by a tiger as she cleaned its enclosure, resulting in a £255,000 fine for a failure to ensure the door was working prop- erly. Other sickening incidents included a lemur eaten by a tiger and a giraffe that had to be put down after it fell on a slippery floor.
The park was set up by millionaire David Gill, 56, in 1994. The entrepreneur has published a book about his zoo-building exploits.
But earlier this year Mr Gill’s vision of an animal utopia – where species are free to mix as they would in the wild even if it results in deaths – was brought crashing down when his application for a fresh zoo licence was rejected
by Barrow Borough Council. A dossier highlighting welfare issues was presented by the Captive Animals Protection Society and the zoo was ordered to close pending an appeal, forcing Mr Gill to step aside.
But remarkably on May the zoo was granted a licence after new company Cumbria Zoo Company Limited, headed by Mr Gill’s former chief executive, took over day-to-day management. Inspectors said they were ‘highly encouraged’ by improved standards.
Safari zoo boss: David Gill and wife