Mar 10, 2013 / 6:21 pm
A California animal sanctuary where an African lion killed a 24-year-old intern reopened to the public Sunday with the support of the victim's family.
Cat Haven, a private zoo run by the non-profit Project Survival, observed a moment of silence at noon for Dianna Hanson, who was fatally attacked by the 550-pound male lion Wednesday.
Cat Haven founder Dale Anderson said the park was returning to normal operations so the staff could focus on taking care of its remaining 29 wild cats, but "we continue to mourn the loss of two family members."
"Dianna would want the work that we are doing to continue and we are re-opening to the public with consent from Dianna's parents," Anderson said at Sunday's news conference. "Her passion for working with these animals was contagious."
Investigators believe the lion, known as Cous Cous, lifted the door of a partially closed feeding cage with its paw and attacked Hanson as she cleaned a larger enclosure area, according to Fresno County Coroner David Haden.
Hanson, who had been working as a Cat Haven volunteer for two months, died immediately from a broken neck, according to the coroner's report.
A sheriff's deputy fatally shot the 5-year-old lion after it couldn't be coaxed away from Hanson's body.
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