Lion Kills Worker at North Carolina Wildlife Conservatory
BURLINGTON, NC. – According to an online news report from fox5atlanta.com, a lion became loose and killed a worker December 30 at a wildlife conservatory in North Carolina. The circumstances of the incident are still not completely clear.*
On December 30, 22-year-old Alexandra Black, of New Palestine, Indiana, was part of a team of workers performing a routine cleaning of an animal enclosure at the Conservators Center in Burlington, North Carolina. A lion somehow got loose and attacked Black, killing her. Attempts to tranquilize the lion were unsuccessful, and workers fatally shot the lion to retrieve Black from the enclosure.
“This is the worst day of my life,” said Mindy Stinner, executive director of the Conservators Center. “We’ve lost a person. We’ve lost an animal. We have lost the faith in ourselves a little today.”
Black was a recent graduate of Indiana State University and had been working at the center for about two weeks before the incident. Her family released a statement to reporters saying she was a “beautiful young woman who had just started her career” and that “she died following her passion.”
It is still not clear how the lion became loose, as the area where it was being kept was supposed to be locked. An investigation will take place to determine what happened.
The Conservators Center has been open since 1999 and has been giving public tours since 2007. The center houses around 80 animals and employs about a dozen people. Lions have been at the center since 2014, when the facility accepted 14 rescued lions and tigers in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
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