Conservators Center reopening this weekend, 1 month after lion attacked, killed worker

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CASWELL COUNTY, N.C. — The Conservators Center is opening back up after a lion attack killed one of their interns in December.

Alexandra Black was attacked and killed while trying to clean the lions’ habitat.

The gates to the center have been closed and locked since the 22-year-old died on the property.

The question remains how the lion, named Matthai, got out of the enclosure.

The USDA is in charge of the investigations. FOX8 has asked the agency for an update on the investigation, but we are still waiting for the answers.

However, tax documents obtained by FOX8, dating back to 2015, show a significant amount of money used on safety and security.

More than $626,000 was spent on enhanced animal care and housing, hiring zookeeping staff, increasing training, constructing new habitats, additional safety and handling equipment and “retrofitting large cat habitats to new USDA requirements.”

The staff at the center also worked to make the touring barriers safe and train first responders.

In 2016, the tax documents show more than $603,000 spent on the same list of safety upgrades at the center.

In 2017, the last tax return filed, there were additional enhancements made to make sure the center was safe for both staff and visitors.

That year, more than $589,000 was spent, bringing the three-year total to over $1.8 million allocated for safety and security.

FOX8 did try to speak with a representative of the Conservators Center on Wednesday but was told no one was available.

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