Horrible news comes from a California animal sanctuary where 24-year-old intern Dianna Hanson was mauled to death by a young African lion while on the job.
According to Facebook, Hanson had significant other intern and volunteer experience. She had interned with the Snow Leopard Trust in Seattle, Washington while she was a student at Western Washington University, and had been a research volunteer at the Soysambu Conservancy in Kenya. The Daily Mail has some great photos of her work with big cats.
Hanson was inside the lion’s cage when she was attacked by the four-year-old, 350-pound lion named Cous Cous. The cat was shot and killed by police after a worker wasn’t able to coax him away from Hanson’s body.
According to her father, Hanson was thrilled with her internship. “She showed me around, gave me a tour of the place when we got down there, including the lion’s cage, Cous Cous” he told a local news station. “She said, you know, I can’t go in the tiger’s cage, she was disappointed because she really loved going in the cages and getting up close and personal with the lion or tiger, but they wouldn’t let them do that down there.”
He said she had loved big cats since she was young. ”She liked them so much, she always felt she could handle it, and she wasn’t afraid, she wasn’t the slightest bit afraid to get in the cages with those things, those big cats,” he said.
It wasn’t clear why Hanson was inside the cage with the dangerous animal. Be careful out there, interns.