“We have had a lion attack,” a girl calmly told 911 when a youthful, newly-hired intern was mauled in an animal center in North Carolina.
The lion was included, the caller advised 911, but the victim was “incapacitated,” according to the emergency telephone obtained from The News & Observer.
The deadly incident unfolded Sunday in the Conservators Center in Burlington when 22-year old intern Alexandra Black was cleaning a lion enclosure using a husbandry group, the Conservators Center said in a statement.
The lion “had been locked into a separate holding enclosure” however “somehow managed to enter the enclosure” in which the group was functioning, murdering Black, the centre said. Nobody else was hurt.
The lion, Matthai, was euthanized by first responders, the centre said.
It wasn’t immediately clear how the creature escaped. The state is investigating what happened.
Meanwhile, the center said its workers are “devastated” and “traumatized” from the passing of “this vibrant, smart young woman.”
Black had worked in the Conservator Center for only 10 days, her family said.
Black adored creatures and “died following her passion,” her family said.
“Our beautiful, intelligent, passionate Alex had worked, unpaid, at several animal-related ventures,” her family said in a statement. “This was her fourth internship, because she really wanted to make a career of working with animals.”
“She was a beautiful young woman who had just started her career,” her family said. “There was a terrible accident, and we are mourning.”
ABC News’ Chris Donato contributed to this report.