United States: A 22-year-old girl mauled to death by a Zoo Lion
Washington: A 22-year-old graduate, Alexandra Black who started her job as an intern at a wildlife conservatory in the US state of North Carolina two weeks ago, was mauled to death by a lion that escaped a locked enclosure at the Zoo.
The Conservators Center in Burlington said in a statement that the worker was killed during a routine enclosure cleaning on Sunday. However, the lion was shot and killed after several failed attempts of tranquilizing him in order to retrieve the victim.
“One of the lions somehow left a locked space and entered the space the humans were in and quickly killed one person,” tread the statement.
The incident took place when Blake with other team members entered the enclosure for routine cleaning and suddenly a male lion named Matthai escaped a locked enclosure and mauled her to death.
It was unclear how the lion escaped the enclosure as it was supposed to be locked, said the facility, which was closed until further notice.
The victim was identified as Alexandra Black, a recent graduate of Indiana State University. She was a native of New Palestine, Indiana, and had been an intern at the Conservators Center for about two weeks.
One of her loved ones told media, “Our beautiful, intelligent, passionate Alex had worked, unpaid, at several animal-related ventures. This was her fourth internship, because she really wanted to make a career of working with animals.”
Black’s “passion was the zoological industry — this was not this person’s first internship”, the Centre’s Executive Director Mindy Stinner said.
“And this person wanted to spend a lifetime around these animals,” Stinner said in a press conference. Black was not a staff member but was working under the supervision of a staff member, he added.
The Conservators Center founded in 1999 in Mebane, was created as an educational nonprofit which accepts animals rescued from ‘unacceptable conditions.’
It was relocated to its current location, a 45-acre, wooded lot in Caswell County, where it houses more than 80 animals from 20 species, including about 20 big cats, such as lions, leopards and tigers.
The public is invited to take walking tours here and approximately 16,000 people visit the Center each year.