Lion kills California animal sanctuary intern
March 7, 2013
A 350 pound lion mauled a 24-year-old woman to death Wednesday at an animal sanctuary in Fresno County. [CNN]
Diana Hanson, a Seattle native, was an intern at the 100-acre wild animal sanctuary Cat Haven located 45 miles west of Fresno. Hanson’s father said the lion who killed her, Cous Cous, was one of his daughter’s favorites.
Cous Cous attacked Hanson Wednesday while the 24-year-old was in the lion’s cage. Fresno County Sherif’s Deputies responded to the animal park and shot and killed the lion when it would not move away from Hanson into another enclosure. But, Hanson died on the scene before emergency personnel could attempt to save her.
Cat Haven did not release an explanation for Hanson being in the lion’s cage, but said it would investigate whether workers had followed safety protocols. Hanson had just begun working at the animal park in January.
The victim’s father described the death of his daughter as “bearable” because she died doing what she loved. Hanson’s Facebook page contained more photos of lions and tigers than of humans.
Sheriff’s deputies subsequently shot the lion to death. It had appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres television show when it was about three months old. DeGeneres fed the lion, which died Wednesday at the age of five.
Head of The Jungle Jenny Foundation Jenny Michaels told CNN that she had previously been inside Cous Cous’s cage, along with a Cat Haven worker, and that the lion did not demonstrate any aggressive behavior.