CASWELL COUNTY, N.C. – A lion got out of its enclosure and killed a woman Sunday at the Conservators Center in Caswell County, according to the non-profit organization.
Alexandra Black, 22, died in the attack. She was from New Palestine, Indiana, and recently graduated from Indiana University. The school released the following statement:
“We are deeply saddened by the death of May 2018 graduate Alexandra Black, an alumna of Indiana University using her degree in animal behavior and biology to follow her passion for serving and caring for animals. Our thoughts are with her family, friends, and everyone who knew her during this difficult time.”
Black had been working at the Conservators Center for about two weeks, according to the Caswell County Sheriff’s Office.
The center said it happened while a husbandry team led by a professionally trained animal keeper was carrying out a routine enclosure cleaning.
One of the lions somehow left a locked space and went to where the humans were and killed the victim, according to the center.
Officials said the lion was shot and killed to allow Caswell County personnel to get the worker. Several attempts to tranquilize the lion failed, according to deputies.
The lion that killed Black as “Matthai,” one of the male lions at the center, according to Caswell County Sheriff Tony Durden.
It’s unclear how the lion got out. The investigation is ongoing.
The Conservators Center, at 676 East Hughes Mill Road, will be closed until further notice.
The center is an educational non-profit dedicated to providing a specialized home for select species and houses more than 80 animals, according to its website. Many of the lions at the facility were rescued from poor living conditions in Ohio in 2004.