Investigators want to know why woman entered lion's enclosure in California
DUNLAP, Calif. — A 24-year-old intern who was described by her father as a “fearless” lover of big cats ventured into a lion enclosure at a privately owned zoo and was mauled to death, prompting investigations by several government agencies that want to know how the accident happened.
Dianna Hanson, whose Facebook page is plastered with photos of her petting tigers and other big cats, was frustrated that the exotic cat zoo in California where she had worked since January did not allow direct contact with animals, her father said.
“She was disappointed because she said they wouldn't let her into the cages with the lion and tiger there,” Paul Hanson said about Cat Haven, the site of the deadly mauling on Wednesday.
The owner of 100-acre site in the Sierra Nevada foothills said Thursday that safety protocols were in place but he would not discuss them because they are a part of the law enforcement investigation. He, too, is trying to determine whether they were followed.
For reasons still being investigated, Dianna Hanson entered the enclosure of a male African lion named Cous Cous on a day that Cat Haven, 45 miles east of Fresno, was closed to the public.
The 4-year-old lion, which had lived at the park since it was a cub, attacked Hanson and was later shot by Fresno County sheriff's deputies who were trying to reach her body.
Autopsy results revealed the young woman died quickly of a broken neck, possibly from a paw swipe by the 550-pound lion, and the numerous bites and scratches she sustained were inflicted after she died.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Italian village to honor World War II U.S. bomber pilots
- License plate scanner networks gotcha
- Daughter says of Utah doctor: He’s a ‘monster’
- White House evacuated for fence jumper
- Benghazi death prompts $2M suit
- Ten Commandments lawsuit tossed
- White House targets sexual assaults on college campuses
- Chief justice worried about partisanship
- Amid California drought, pop-up wetlands
- Meteor lights up night sky above eastern U.S.
- Black lung disease on rise in Appalachia