Young Woman Killed by Zoo Lion Whose Cage Was Not Closed Properly

She loved the big cats until one of them took her life. This is the sad story of a happy 24-year old zoo worker in central California who was killed by a lion whose cage was not closed properly.

Though the investigation is still underway, it seems like the lion was not hungry as it had been fed and the woman was in the process of cleaning the larger enclosure of the cage, when the lion was able to get out of a small cage and attack her fatally.

Authorities eventually killed the wild cat that weighed 550-pounds and who turned out to be a messenger of death for the young 24-year old fearless lover of zoo lions. A private zoo called Cat Haven, which is located near Fresno, CA was the scene of this tragic event that unfolded on Thursday March 7. The name of the deceased was Dianna Hanson and her Facebook page revealed pictures of her posing with similar cats.

Original Story Below

A 26-year-old female intern was mauled to death by a lion while working at a private wild park located in central California. Dale Anderson, the Zoo owner revealed that the incidence happened on Wednesday when the victim was in the lion’s enclosure. He also clarified that a thorough investigation would be conducted because the zoo took all measures to ensure all the guests, animals and people working in the zoo are safe.

“She was at ease with those big cats,” Paul Hanson, a Seattle-area attorney, said of his daughter, Dianna Hanson, 24. “They liked her.”

Hanson told The Associated Press that he dropped his daughter off Jan. 2 at Cat Haven, about 45 miles east of Fresno.

Lion's cage door left open: Lions Keeps Intern In California

Lion’s cage door left open: Lions Keeps Intern In California

“It was just a dream job for her,” he said, adding that she gave him a little tour and showed him the lion Cous Cous, which authorities said killed her.

Gregg Collins, a sergeant from the office of the Sherriff in Fresno County arrived at the scene of the accident after getting an emergency call. According to him, the victim was lying in the pen and was badly injured while the lion was still hovering around.

A park worker had unsuccessfully tried to lure the lion away from the victim into an adjacent pen. The lion was shot dead by the deputies so that they could rescue the injured woman. Unfortunately, she was declared dead on the scene of the accident.

Couscous, the 4-year-old African male lion that attacked the woman had been brought up in the Cat Haven Park from a young age. This is according to Tanya Osegueda, the Project Survival spokeswoman, which is the non-profit organization that runs this exotic animal park.

Nicole Paquette, vice president of the Human Society of the United States, voiced concerns. “She should have never been in the enclosure with him,” Paquette said of the victim. “These are big cats that are extremely dangerous, and they placed a volunteer in the actual cage with a wild animal. That should have never happened.”

Officials at another sanctuary, Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Florida, told the the Guardian, in 2012 that at least 21 people, including five children, had been killed and 246 mauled by exotic cats in the US since 1990. Over that period 254 cats escaped and 143 were killed.

Just last year, a keeper at a zoo in the western German city of Cologne was mauled to death by a tiger.

Police said the animal wandered through a gate that had apparently not been shut properly. It reached an adjacent storage building, where it attacked and killed the 43-year-old woman.

The tiger was then shot dead by the director of the zoo through a skylight, before it could get to public areas.