Lion escapes, kills 22-year-old intern at North Carolina wildlife conservatory

Lion escapes, kills 22-year-old intern at North Carolina wildlife conservatory

Lion escapes, kills 22-year-old intern at North Carolina wildlife conservatory

A 22-year-old woman was killed by a lion on Sunday at a US park after the animal escaped from a locked enclosure, local media reported.

In a statement on Facebook, the centre said it was "devastated by the loss".

A 22-year-old zoo worker was killed in North Carolina on Sunday after being attacked by a lion at a wildlife park.

It's believed the lion got loose from a locked space during a routine enclosure clean at the North Carolina centre.

Authorities attempted to tranquilize the lion several times but failed, so the animal was killed to allow emergency services retrieve Black's body, Caswell County Sheriff Tony Darden Jr said in a statement.

The center says it will be closed until further notice.

The recent graduate of Indiana State University had started working at the zoological center 10 days before the attack.

Alexandra Black was killed by a lion at a wildlife park in North Carolina
Image Ms Black had only been working at the park for a few weeks

"We ask that you consider donating to Wolf Park in Battleground, Indiana, to honor Alex". That's when the lion got free from a separate locked space, according to a statement from the center.

The Conservators Center earlier said that a team led by a trained animal keeper had been cleaning the lion's enclosure when the attack took place. We've lost a person.

The victim, 22-year-old Alexandra Black, of New Palestine, Indiana, was a college intern had been employed at the Conservator Center for approximately two weeks. It was unclear how the lion escaped, the center said. We've lost an animal.

Staff said the lion never made it beyond the park's perimeter fence. "I am now looking to gain experience in animal husbandry, specifically with "exotic" species as I hope to eventually become a zookeeper!" she wrote.

According to its website, the wildlife facility is home to 80 animals, including 15 lions. We appreciate the outpouring of support for Alex's family and the Conservators Center family and will provide more information as it becomes available.

The Caswell County Sheriff's Office did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

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