TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Investigators want to know why woman entered lion's enclosure in California

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
Thursday, March 7, 2013, 9:12 p.m.
 

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

Most-Read Nation

  1. Expert: Stress level rises for Americans who forfeit vacation
  2. Accused head of violent Mexican cartel nabbed
  3. Archaeologists sift through Everglades muck for history
  4. Wreckage of sunken WWII U-boat found off N.C. coast
  5. Ex-NSA chief drops deal with former aide to avoid appearance of conflict
  6. 5 airports to handle all U.S.-bound travelers from Ebola-stricken nations
  7. Governor to form Ferguson Commission to study underlying social issues in shooting
  8. Wrongful imprisonment case ends in guilty plea
  9. Teen’s pre-existing condition lead to death
  10. American free of virus
  11. Justice Department revamps cyber teams
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.