Woman killed by lion left gate open

Fresno BeeApril 24, 2013 

— The intern at Project Survival's Cat Haven who died when she was attacked by a lion last month was the only person handing the animals at the time of the assault, a Fresno County Sheriff's Office spokesman said Tuesday.

Dianna Hanson, 24, was killed at the Dunlap animal sanctuary east of Fresno on March 6 after she accidentally left an interior door of the enclosure open, the sheriff's office said.

Hanson, who was cleaning the animal's enclosure, was at the bottom of stairs leading to the pen when the lion attacked her. She died instantly of a fatal neck injury, apparently from a swipe of the lion's paw, according to the Fresno County Coroner's Office, which listed the death as an accident.

A sheriff's deputy fired several shotgun rounds and killed the 450-pound lion, named Cous Cous.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture determined that Cat Haven did not violate any Animal Welfare Act policies in the fatal lion attack, an official said Tuesday.

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