DUNLAP, Calif. — A state report says a lion shot dead in March by deputies after it mauled a volunteer at a California wildlife park was in perfect health.
The California Animal Health &Food Safety Laboratory said in the report made available on Tuesday that extensive testing shows the male African lion known as Cous Cous did not have rabies, a viral disease that affects the brain. Had the test been positive, it might have explained why the young lion attacked Dianna Hanson, 24, of Brier.
Hanson was cleaning the lion’s cage at Cat Haven in the Sierra foothills east of Fresno. The 550-pound lion had been in an adjoining enclosure.
The report said testing was difficult because sheriff’s deputies had shot the lion in the head.