(CNN) — A worker was killed by an African lion inside a cage at a exotic cat sanctuary in California Wednesday afternoon, authorities said.
The victim was a identified as a 23-year-old employee of Project Survival’s Cat Haven in Dunlap, California, according to California Fish and Wildlife Department spokeswoman Janice Mackey.
An adult made African lion severely injured the worker inside the cage, the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.
“Another employee had made several attempts to distract the lion away from the victim and into another enclosure prior to the deputy’s arrival, but all attempts failed,” the sheriff’s release said.
A sheriff’s deputy shot and killed the lion and then gave medical assistance to the worker, it said. “The victim died at the scene.”
Cat Haven is a 100-acre wooded sanctuary that is home to “some of the rarest cats in the world,” including lions, tigers, jaguars and leopards, according to its website.