A husbandry team led by an animal keeper was carrying out a routine cleaning at the Conservators Center in Burlington when one of the lions left a locked space, officials said.
The lion entered the space the humans were in and quickly killed the woman, who had only worked at the center for about two weeks.
The victim of the attack has been identified as 22-year-old Alexandra Black of New Palestine, Indiana.
Officials said she was a recent graduate of Indiana University, was a college intern and had been employed at the Conservator Center for about two weeks.
The Caswell Sheriff’s Office just now leaving Conservators Center - where a worker was killed today by a lion. The nonprofit, according to its website, is home to more than 80 animals including lions & tigers. #ABC11 pic.twitter.com/OtrPW88c2j— Elaina Athans (@AthansABC11) December 30, 2018
Just arriving in Burlington - where a lion at the Conservators’ Center mauled a worker to death today. We’re being told the animal somehow left a locked area. The nonprofit is closed until further notice. #ABC11 pic.twitter.com/BmcWEsCcvT— Elaina Athans (@AthansABC11) December 30, 2018
The lion was shot and killed to allow Caswell County personnel to retrieve Black, officials said.
The Conservators Center is closed until further notice, as the investigation is ongoing.