DUNLAP, Calif. (AP) — A lion killed a person on Wednesday at a private wild animal sanctuary in Central California, authorities said.
The person was attacked and fatally injured after getting into a cage with the lion at Cat Haven sanctuary in Dunlap, Calif., Cal Fire spokesman Ryan Michaels told The Associated Press.
The facility, which is licensed by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, is about 45 miles east of Fresno in the Sierra Nevada foothills.
Michaels suspects the lion was put down because law enforcement officers at the scene fired shots, and the Fresno County sheriff's office said on the radio that the animal had been secured.
Cat Haven is a private sanctuary and 100-acre wild animal park just west of Kings Canyon National Park. Since the property opened in 1993, it has housed numerous big cats, including tigers, leopards and other exotic species.
Another big cat sanctuary, Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Fla., told the AP last year that at least 21 people, including five children, have been killed and 246 mauled by exotic cats since 1990. Over that period, 254 cats escaped and 143 were killed.