Lion kills worker at California animal sanctuary

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A lion killed a person on Wednesday at a private animal sanctuary in Central California, authorities said.

The worker was attacked and fatally injured after getting into a cage with the lion at Cat Haven sanctuary in Dunlap, Calif., Cal Fire spokesman Ryan Michaels told The Associated Press.  

The sheriff's office said Cat Haven was closed at the time of the incident. Two workers were inside the park, and one of the workers was inside the cage.

The male lion, known as Couscous, attacked and killed the worker while he was inside the cage, KFSN-TV reported.

The father of the victim identified her as 24-year-old Dianna Hanson, an intern-volunteer at the ranch.  She was from Washington State.

The lion had lived at the sanctuary since it was a cub.

The site is about 45 miles east of Fresno in the Sierra Nevada foothills.

Michaels suspects the lion was put down because law enforcement officers at the scene fired shots, and the Fresno County sheriff's office said on the radio that the animal had been secured.

Cat Haven is a private animal sanctuary just west of Kings Canyon National Park. Since the property opened in 1993, it has housed numerous big cats, including tigers, leopards and other exotic species.


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