A lion from the US zoo Conservators Center in Burlington, North Carolina, killed a 22-year-old woman on Sunday when the girl was cleaning one of the enclosures of these mammals, the park reported today.
The lion, a 14-year-old male named Maathai, was sacrificed by emergency personnel who went to the scene to allow access to the body of the girl, the zoo said in a statement on its Facebook page.
The local police informed the local media that they had previously tried to calm the animal while trying to access the site to care for the woman, but since it was impossible they decided to shoot down the 270-kilogram mammal.
Alexandra Black, who had recently started an internship at the center, worked with a cleaning crew in a lion enclosure when the animal, which was believed to have been locked, managed to escape and killed the young woman in an incident in which no other Person was injured.
"When our breeding teams clean large feline enclosures they follow a safety protocol that involves moving the animals into a separate space and securing them before humans enter the adjacent space," the Conservators Center said.
In another statement, published this Sunday, he explained that the team was headed by a "professionally trained animal caretaker" when they performed this "routine" cleanup.
The zoo, a non-profit organization that welcomes about 90 animals of a score of species and receives some 16,000 visitors a year, says it is investigating what happened and will remain closed until further notice.
Prior to the Conservators Center, Black had practiced multiple practices, the most recent of which was at Wolf Park in Battle Ground, Indiana, a center where the girl's family has asked for donations to be made in memory of the deceased.
In a message on his Instagram account, the center says they named the lion in honor of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize, Kenyan ecologist Wangari Maathai.