California News

Apr 26, 2013 7:07 AM by ASSOCIATED PRESS

Sheriff: Woman killed by lion left door open

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) - The Fresno County Sheriff's Department has concluded that a volunteer who was killed by a lion at a Central California animal park accidentally caused her own death by failing to secure the door to a feeding cage where the lion was sitting while she cleaned an adjacent enclosure.

Capt. Steve Wilkins said Thursday that his office has closed its investigation of 24-year-old Dianna Hanson's death after determining it was an "unfortunate accident."

A 550-pound Barbary lion named Cous Cous (koos-koos) escaped from the partially closed feeding cage on March 6 and killed Hanson.

Sheriff's deputies shot the lion after it couldn't be coaxed away from Hanson's body.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently found that Cat Haven, the wild animal park where the incident occurred, had proper safety procedures in place for feeding the animals and cleaning the enclosures.

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