A newly-released 911 call catches the tense moments as a lion reportedly escaped a locked area at a North Carolina zoo and mauled a female intern to death.
Per the Indianapolis Star, the 14-year-old male lion fatally wounded Alexandra Black, 22, Sunday while she worked at the Conservators Center in Burlington. Her family said it was the recent University of Indiana grad’s first out-of-state internship.
During the two-minute call, a conservatory employee tells a 911 dispatcher that Black is “incapacitated.” They also explained that the lion, named Matthai, is contained. The caller explained that they learned of the attack by someone who was with Black when it happened.
Reports indicated that Black was killed while cleaning an enclosure that the locked lion unexplainably gained access to; animals are held in a separate, locked area as the cleanings take place. Police shot and killed the lion after several failed attempts to tranquilize him to gain access to the victim, according to the Star.
“I know that when the decision was made, all parties were in agreeance that it was time to take that action,” Caswell County Sheriff Tony Durden said, per WIBC. “It took several shots to bring him down. He was amped up. He had been moving around the enclosure several times.”
The Conservators Center remains closed. An agency official confirmed to USA Today that the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) will also investigate the deadly incident.
[Featured Image: Alexandra Black/LinkedIn]