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WiltshireTuesday 06 June 2017

Wiltshire zookeeper’s tragic death a reminder that all employers have a duty to safeguard their workers.

A zookeeper from Chippenham who was mauled to death by a tiger while doing the job she loved has been remembered by her family as a “a very caring, generous person who was living her dream looking after wild animals”.

Rosa King was fatally attacked during an incident at Hamerton Zoo Park in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire. Detectives investigating how the 34-year-old zookeeper was mauled to death have questioned the owner's son in a bid to find out what happened.

Emergency services initially described Rosa's death as “non suspicious”, but police have confirmed they are probing the death in a joint investigation with Huntingdon District Council, which is responsible for the zoo's licence. 

Hamerton Zoo described Ms King's death as a “freak accident”, but it has since emerged the owners were warned about safety failings several times over the past decade. A 2012 inspection report mentioned the need to "repair and replace an ageing/damaged perimeter fence where the structural integrity of the fence is compromised" and that "the escape protocol should be amended to categorise animals of varying sizes".

Four years ago another young zookeeper died after being mauled by a tiger. Sarah McClay was attacked by a Sumatran tiger at South Lakes Safari Zoo in Cumbria. The zoo was fined £255,000 at Preston Crown Court after the 24-year-old employee's death in May 2013.

“Thankfully, this type of tragic workplace accident is rare,” says Robert Millbourn of Oxford Accident Solicitors, “but it’s a reminder that employers need to take safety precautions that are commensurate with the levels of danger.”

“Working on behalf of accident victims in Oxfordshire, Oxford Accident Solicitors are also aware that farm workers and people who work with livestock are at higher risk than almost any other profession,” continues Robert.

“We have helped hundreds of workers with compensation claims after they suffered workplace accidents through no fault of their own. It doesn’t matter whether people work in a zoo, a factory or an office; everybody has the right to return home from work safe and sound.”

Oxford Accident Solicitors offer a FREE initial consultation that will review your workplace accident and establish if you have a justifiable claim. Please contact us today on 01865 315309 to arrange an appointment with one of our friendly lawyers.  

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