Investigators Seek Answers In Deadly Lion Attack

DUNLAP, Calif. (March 7, 2013)--The brother of the Seattle-area intern who was mauled to death by a lion at a Central California exotic animal park says the family always wondered about the risks in her chosen line of work, but knew the dangers were a part of the profession.

Dianna Hanson's older brother, Paul Hanson, said his sister had followed her passion to care for animals since she was young.

She grew up loving the family's two cats, volunteered at a local animal shelter and hoped to get certified to pursue a career in wildlife conservation or work at a zoo, he said.

He says the family was notified of her death by the said Fresno County Sheriff's Office. Paul Hanson thinks his sister would be devastated to know that the lion that attacked her on Wednesday was killed.

Authorities say the intern was attacked and killed Wednesday after she entered the male African lion's enclosure at Cat Haven about 45 miles east of Fresno.

Fresno County sheriff's Lt. Bob Miller says sheriff's deputies responding to an emergency call from Cat Haven found the woman severely injured and had to shoot the animal to reach her, but she died at the scene.

A coroner's report Thursday says she died quickly of a broken neck.

Family members don’t know why she entered the enclosure.

They said interns and volunteers weren’t allowed to do that.

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