The incident occurred at an educational non-profit sanctuary named Conservators Centre, that is home to over 21 species and more than 80 animals, including 15 African lions.
According to the reserve, a team of animal keepers were cleaning the lion’s enclosure when a lioness named Daisy – who is known as the ‘bearded lady’ for her unusual facial hair that looks like a male lion – escaped her enclosure and entered the section where the humans were working.
The lion mauled 22-year-old employee Alexandra Black to death. Black had only started working at the sanctuary a mere two weeks ago.
Attempts to tranquilize the lioness failed and police officers who rushed to the scene were forced to shoot Daisy dead. The reserve said in a statement:
“The Conservators Center is devastated by the loss of a human life today.
“While a husbandry team led by a professionally trained animal keeper was carrying out a routine enclosure cleaning, one of the lions somehow left a locked space and entered the space the humans were in and quickly killed one person.
“It is unclear at this time how the lion left the locked enclosure.
“The lion was shot and killed to allow Caswell County personnel to retrieve the worker.
“This is an ongoing investigation, we have no further details at this time, and the family has not yet been notified. We will offer more information as we know more. The Conservators Center will be closed until further notice.”