BIG TICKET GIVEAWAY

Win 2 tickets to every event for a year! Click here to enter.

Present by The Daily Herald
The Herald of Everett, Washington
HeraldNet on Facebook HeraldNet on Twitter HeraldNet RSS feeds HeraldNet Pinterest HeraldNet Google Plus HeraldNet Youtube
HeraldNet Newsletters  Newsletters: Sign up | Manage  Green editions icon Green editions

Calendar


HeraldNet Headlines
HeraldNet Newsletter Delivered to your inbox each week.
Published: Sunday, March 10, 2013, 2:11 p.m.

Calif. animal park reopens after fatal lion attack

DUNLAP, Calif. -- A California animal sanctuary where an African lion killed a 24-year-old intern reopened to the public Sunday with the support of the victim's family.
Cat Haven, a private zoo run by the nonprofit Project Survival, observed a moment of silence at noon for Brier native Dianna Hanson, who was fatally attacked by the 550-pound male lion Wednesday.
Cat Haven founder Dale Anderson said the park was returning to normal operations so the staff could focus on taking care of its remaining 29 wild cats, but "we continue to mourn the loss of two family members."
"Dianna would want the work that we are doing to continue and we are re-opening to the public with consent from Dianna's parents," Anderson said at Sunday's news conference. "Her passion for working with these animals was contagious."
Investigators believe the lion, known as Cous Cous, lifted the door of a partially closed feeding cage with its paw and attacked Hanson as she cleaned a larger enclosure area, according to Fresno County Coroner David Haden.
Hanson, who had been working as a Cat Haven volunteer for two months, died immediately from a broken neck, according to the coroner's report.
A sheriff's deputy fatally shot the 5-year-old lion after it couldn't be coaxed away from Hanson's body.
Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims did not provide many new details about the investigation at Sunday's news conference, but said the gate that was supposed to contain the lion was not completely closed.
"We believe this was an accident, an error," Mims said, according to the Fresno Bee.
Hanson's relatives say they also believe her death was an accident and that safety protocols were followed at Cat Haven, a 100-acre park in the Sierra foothills about 40 miles east of Fresno.
Wendy Debbas, president of Project Survival, read a letter Sunday from Donna Anderson, the victim's mother, who said she supports the decision to reopen Cat Haven.
"I am living every mother's worst nightmare in losing a cherished child," Anderson said in the letter. "It is my desire that they continue their mission in support of saving my daughter's beloved creatures."
Hanson's family announced Friday that a fund has been set up in her memory and urged people to donate to the wildlife organizations she loved, including Cat Haven.
"Her legacy will live on through the support of conservancies such as Project Survival's Cat Haven," Anderson said.

Share your comments: Log in using your HeraldNet account or your Facebook, Twitter or Disqus profile. Comments that violate the rules are subject to removal. Please see our terms of use. Please note that you must verify your email address for your comments to appear.

You are logged in using your HeraldNet ID. Click here to update your profile. | Log out.

Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.

comments powered by Disqus

HeraldNet highlights

This is arena food?
This is arena food?: Xfinity rolls out shiny new menu for Tips games, other events
Big-top dreams
Big-top dreams: Young ringmaster followed his heart to the circus tent
'Maze Runner' gets lost
'Maze Runner' gets lost: Film has its moments, but seems overly familiar
All the right notes
All the right notes: 5th Avenue Theatre's 'A Chorus Line' feels fresh