A lion was shot and killed in an attempt to save an intern following an escape from its enclosure at a North Carolina nature conservatory Sunday. Alexandra Black, 22, recently graduated from Indiana University Bloomington, and worked two weeks as a college intern for the Conservators' Center in Burlington. Black was fatally attacked after the lion managed to flee when a "husbandry team, led by a professionally trained animal keeper, was carrying out a routine enclosure cleaning," according to a statement from the Caswell County Sheriff’s Office.
Several attempts were made to tranquilize the lion named Matthai, who “quickly” killed Black after leaving what was believed to be a locked space. The lion was fatally shot in order to allow emergency workers to retrieve Alexandra's body. The Conservators' Center responded to the incident in a statement acknowledging how they were "devastated by the loss of a human life," and would be closed until further notice.
The Conservators' Center posted a photo on Friday of Daisy, one of the center's 15 African lions.
An investigation is underway to determine how the lion escaped from the center.