A woman was killed today during a lion attack at the Cat Haven animal park in Fresno County. The lion, named Cous Cous, was killed shortly after the attack.
The woman has not been named yet but Dale Anderson, the owner of the facility, said that it was a female volunteer.
Anderson said: “Our thoughts and prayers go out to her friends and family at this time… We’ll keep you posted as things progress around here.”
Cous Cous, a 4-year-old lion, reportedly attacked the woman when she entered the lion cage at about 12:30 this afternoon. Authorities were called to the scene and found the woman dead inside the lion’s enclosure. A Fresno County sheriff’s deputy shot and killed the lion shortly after arrival.
It is unclear why the woman entered the enclosure or what prompted the lion attack. Cat Haven was closed at the time of the attack.
Cat Haven was founded in 1999 and is home to lions, cheetahs, tigers and other large cats. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife said that the park had a good track record and that they weren’t aware of any previous problems. Janice Mackey, a Fish and Wildlife spokeswoman, said that they were currently investigating the incident.
The Fresno County Sheriff’s Department will also be investigating the woman’s death. The 4-year-old male African lion was taken from its cage today for a necropsy.
Tony Spada of the Fish and Wildlife Department said that they would be working closely with homicide detectives to determine the exact cause of death.
Spada said: “(We’ll) look at the animal and determine if the animal did, in fact, attack the subject, and then we will have our findings. And we work closely with the homicide detectives and/or detectives working the case.”
This isn’t the only lion attack to make the news today. A couple in Africa was attacked today while having sex in the African Bush. The woman was killed during that attack.