BURLINGTON, N.C.— New details have been released surrounding a lion attack that killed a woman from New Palestine.
The first 911 call made by officials from the Conservators Center in Burlington was just released, and you can hear them pleading with dispatchers for help.
Police and wildlife experts are still trying to figure out how that lion – Matthias – got out of its locked space and attacked Alexandra Black while she was cleaning the lion’s enclosure.
Black was an intern at the conservatory, and it was her tenth day on the job. She had just graduated from Indiana University in May with a degree in animal behavior.
As far as she knew, everything was going as planned. The lions were separated and locked away so she could help clean the enclosure, but then – that unexpected attack.
Someone radioed for help, and they tranquilized the lion but it didn’t work.
Eventually, sheriff’s deputies showed up on scene, and they had to shoot and kill the animal to get to Black’s body.
Black had worked with other animal parks before, and her family says she really wanted to make a career out of working with wildlife like this.
They are now asking that people donate to Wolf Park in Battleground, Indiana in her honor.
The park is still closed, and it will remain closed until further notice. It’s a smaller operation, and about a dozen people work there with about 80 animals living on site. The center took in 14 lions and tigers in 2004, and they were reportedly caring for animals that had been living in “unacceptable” conditions.
The park offers public tours, and about 16,000 people visit the conservatory every year.