• Authorities expand investigation into fatal lion attack
    The Associated Press | March 08,2013
    • Email Article
    •  Print Article
    DUNLAP, Calif. — The U.S. Department of Agriculture and Cal-OSHA on Thursday joined other state and federal agencies investigating the fatal mauling of a volunteer intern at an exotic animal park in California.

    State investigators who protect workplace safety said they are trying to determine whether Cat Haven near Fresno has the required written procedures that employees follow to stay safe.

    The USDA enforces the federal Animal Welfare Act and hopes to learn whether the 4-year-old lion that killed 24-year-old Dianna Hanson showed any behavior prior to the attack that might have indicated potential danger.

    Fresno County sheriff’s investigators and the state Department of Fish and Wildlife want to know why Hanson was in the enclosure with the animal.

    The Seattle-area intern had loved lions and tigers since childhood, “was absolutely fearless” around them and hoped to work at a zoo after her six-month internship, her father said.

    “She was at ease with those big cats,” Paul Hanson, an attorney, said of his daughter. “They liked her.”

    Hanson told The Associated Press that he dropped his daughter off on Jan. 2 at Cat Haven, about 45 miles east of Fresno.

    “It was just a dream job for her,” he said, adding that she gave him a little tour and showed him the lion Cous Cous, which authorities said killed her.

    Hanson said his daughter had worked with big cats before but told him she would not be allowed to go into the lion cage.

    On Wednesday, deputies found the woman severely injured and still lying inside the enclosure with the 4-year-old male African lion nearby, said Fresno County sheriff’s Lt. Bob Miller.

    Another park worker couldn’t lure the lion into another pen, so deputies shot and killed it to safely reach the wounded woman, but she died at the scene, he said.

    Cat Haven founder and executive director Dale Anderson cried as he read a one-sentence statement Wednesday about the fatal mauling at the private zoo he has operated since 1993.

    Anderson returned to the zoo in Thursday. “I feel awful,” he said.
    • Email Article
    •  Print Article
    MORE IN Wire News
    DENVER — Gabriel McArthur is heading to the Democratic National Convention in July to serve as a... Full Story
    Sanders delegates brace for convention fight
    DALLAS (AP) — A panel of privacy experts and technology companies organized by the Obama... Full Story
    Privacy fears: Panel has advice for drone operators
    CAIRO — Search crews found floating human remains, luggage and seats from the doomed EgyptAir... Full Story
    Searchers find pieces of  Egyptian jet
    More Articles