The last thing an Ohio family expects to hear when a young person leaves home to start a new job is that their loved one was killed in a tragic incident only weeks later. Nevertheless, this is the reality that the loved ones of a 22-year-old intern are facing after she was killed by an escaped lion at the zoo where she was working. The woman, a recent graduate of Indiana University, began her job at the North Carolina zoo only two weeks before the incident on Dec. 30, 2018.
The worker was participating in a routine cleaning of an animal facility at the Conservators Center zoo in Burlington, North Carolina. According to the zoo, she was part of a husbandry team working with a professional animal keeper to perform cleaning and maintenance on an enclosure. During the cleaning, the lions were to be kept in a locked space. However, one lion escaped from this area, coming into the enclosure during the cleaning and attacking and killing the intern. After the intern was killed, Caswell County sheriff’s deputies shot the lion, killing it.
In a statement, the zoo said that it was not aware of how the lion had escaped from the area or whether any negligence was involved. It announced that it would be closed to visitors until further notice. Conservators Center receives around 16,000 visitors every year to see its collection of over 80 animals, including 20 big cats such as lions, tigers and leopards.
When a loved one dies, the loss is always difficult; however, this is exacerbated if a person’s life was taken due to someone else’s negligent behavior, harmful actions or failure to maintain their property. Columbus, Ohio, wrongful death attorneys might help the family of a person killed because of someone else’s actions to seek compensation for their losses.
Source: NBC News, “Escaped lion kills 22-year-old intern at North Carolina zoo“, Janelle Griffith, 12/30/2018