The 4-year-old male lion named Cous Cous was shot and killed by Fresno County Sheriff’s deputies so they could get to a 26 year old woman who lay wounded in his cage this afternoon.
The woman, a volunteer and intern at Cat Haven in was mauled after she entered the 500 pound wild animal’s enclosure.
Dale Anderson, Cat Haven founder and executive director says “the female volunteer intern entered the lion’s enclosure where she was attacked and fatally injured.
The lion was shot and killed per our safety protocols. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the.. Our friend and family.. And to her family at this time, at this trying time.”
Anderson did not explain why the intern entered the cat’s enclosure, but it’s something even the most experienced workers here at the Wildlife Waystation in Angeles National Forest — never, ever do.
“4-year-old male lions are not anything you play with unless you are a professional,” says Martine Colette, founder and director of the Wildlife Waystation. “
Colette has raised some of the big beautiful cats at the sanctuary since they were cubs.
The animals seem to know and love her, but even she does not enter their enclosures.
“The brain is quick to react when something triggers the predatory response and that can be very bad for the human being,” Colette cautions.
In Fresno County, it was deadly for both the young intern and the wild cat she was learning to care for.
Cat Haven seemed to be in compliance with state laws and has no history of problems.