A North Carolina zoo has experienced a major tragedy, after an escaped lion killed a 22-year-old intern on her second week on the job at the facility. The Conservators Center is located in Burlington, between the cities of Greensboro and Durham. It is home to over 80 animals, including 20 big cats; the collection includes lions, tigers and leopards. The woman lost her life while she participated in a routine cleaning of an enclosure for zoo animals on Dec. 30, 2018.
The intern was working toward a career in animal care and had recently graduated from Indiana State University, coming to North Carolina from her home state of Indiana in order to take the internship with the zoo. In a statement released by Conservators Center, the zoo said that a trained team was performing a routine cleaning of an animal enclosure area at the zoo, led by a professional animal keeper. During this cleaning, the lions were supposed to be held in a locked space nearby. However, one of the lions escaped from this area, entering the enclosure while the humans were cleaning. It quickly attacked and killed the intern, taking her life.
After the incident, Caswell County sheriff’s deputies shot and killed the lion. The zoo said that it is not yet known how the lion escaped from the enclosure or whether the locked area was negligently maintained. On an annual basis, Conservators Center receives over 16,000 visitors.
Property owners may be held accountable for the harms done to people on their premises, especially if people lose their lives as a result of their failure to properly maintain their properties. A personal injury lawyer might be able to work with families who have lost a loved one at a zoo, mall or any other space to pursue compensation for their losses in a wrongful death claim.
Source: NBC News, “Escaped lion kills 22-year-old intern at North Carolina zoo“, Janelle Griffith, 12/30/2018