Authorities expand investigation into fatal lion attackBy GOSIA WOZNIACKA
The Associated Press | March 08,2013DUNLAP, 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.MORE IN Wire NewsRichard Attenborough, who after a distinguished stage and film acting career in Britain... Full Story
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- TODAY'S WEATHER MINUTE: Scientists call for more research on the temporal and lasting effects of nuclear fallout on plants and animals in proximity to Japan’s Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power station where changes at the molecular level were found.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 410 CE, Visigoths sack Rome and it isn't the first time, either; in 1859, Titusville, Pa., the first commercially viable oil well comes in; in 1918, the only World War I battle fought on U.S. soil in Nogales, Ariz.
- TODAY'S WEATHER MINUTE: Archaelogists uncover artifacts proving that late neolithic Egyptians, pre-dating the Pyramids of Giza, practiced mummification to prepare their dead for the afterlife, far earlier than presupposed.
- TODAY'S WEATHER MINUTE:Chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing that pollute ground water and the air we breathe come under scrutiny by researchers who find at least eight fracking chemicals toxic to mammals.
- TODAY'S WEATHER MINUTE: The craze for Omega-3 fatty acids as a dietary supplement in its most popular form, fish oil, has led to depletion of fish stocks in oceans throughout the world. Is this the beginning of the total collapse of global fisheries?
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Suspects arrested in Killington bear death, Bryanna Allen and Kevin O'Connor report along the Back to School front, Rutland Plywood site remains an active fire scene as debris continues to smolder.