A 24-year-old intern ventured into a lion enclosure at a privately owned zoo and was mauled to death Wednesday, reported news sources.
A 350-pound African lion killed Dianna Hanson at Project Survival's Cat Heaven in Dunlap, California, where she was working as an intern, reported CNN.
Hanson had a lifelong love for big cats and saw her internship at Cat Heaven as her big break, reported CNN. She hoped to get a full-time job at a zoo.
For reasons still being investigated, Hanson entered the enclosure of the lion named Cous Cous. The lion attacked Hanson and was later shot by Fresno County sheriff's deputies who were trying to reach her body, reported The Washington Post.
Autopsy results revealed Hanson died quickly of a broken neck, possibly form a paw swipe, and the numerous bites and scratches she sustained were inflicted after she died, reported The Washington Post.
Paul Hanson, Hanson's father, supported his daughter's lifelong dream, yet he always feared for her safety, reported CNN.
Dianna Hanson died doing what she loved, taking care of big cats and that's the only way her father can bear the death of his daughter, reported CNN.