Lion kills person at Central Calif. animal park

Attack happened sanctuary in Dunlap

FRESNO, Calif. - Authorities say a lion killed a worker at a private wild animal park in Central California.

A Cal Fire spokesman told The Associated Press the person was fatally injured after getting into an enclosure with the lion at Cat Haven in Dunlap, Calif.

The facility, which is licensed by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, is about 45 miles east of Fresno in the Sierra Nevada foothills.

A spokeswoman for the nonprofit that operates the park says the 4-year-old male lion named Couscous had been raised at Cat Haven since he was 8 weeks old. Fish and Wildlife spokesman Lt. Tony Spada tells The Fresno Bee the lion was shot and killed by a Fresno County sheriff's deputy.

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

Anderson says the victim -- a female intern-volunteer -- was attacked and killed when she entered the lion's enclosure.

He refused to take questions from reporters, but extended thoughts and prayers to the victim's friends and relatives.

Spada says Cat Haven has a good safety record.

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