The incident occurred at the Cat Haven which is located about 45 miles to Fresno’s east. Lieutenant Bob Miller, the Fresno County sheriff, and his deputies responded to an emergency call about the incident but were unable to save the woman. By the time they got to Cat Haven they found the woman severely injured. The 350 pound 5-year-old lion had to be shot in attempts to rescue the woman, but unfortunately she succumbed to the injuries and died at the scene.
The woman was identified as Dianna Hanson from Brier, Wash by her father. Paul Hanson, her father, a Seattle attorney said that he had drove his daughter to Cat Haven on New Year’s day. Hanson’s Facebook page was filled with photos of animals at the animal park, showing that she had been thrilled at the time she worked at Cat Haven. Her father said that Cous Cous, the lion in question , was one of Hanson’s favorites.
Details on why Hanson was in the lion’s enclosure have not been released by the animal park, but they say that they will investigate the matter to establish whether proper safety protocols had been followed.