An Indiana woman who was killed while interning at her job at a zoological park in North Carolina is being remembered as someone who “loved animals.”
Alexandra Black, 22, had only been interning at the Conservators Center in Burlington for two weeks when a lion escaped its enclosure during a routine cleaning by a trained keeper. Black was attacked and killed by the animal on Sunday, according to the Caswell County Sheriff’s Office.
Black had just graduated from Indiana University and her family said her current internship was her fourth job working with animals because she hoped to make it her career someday.
"Alex loved animals. Our beautiful, intelligent, passionate Alex had worked, unpaid, at several animal-related ventures, most recently at Wolf Park in Battleground, Indiana,” Black’s family told local station WXIN. “… There was a terrible accident, and we are mourning.”
The Conservators Center, which has more than 80 animals, issued a statement after Black’s death as well.
"One of the lions somehow left a locked space and entered the space the humans were in and quickly killed one person," the center wrote on its Facebook Sunday. "The Conservators Center is devastated by the loss of a human life today.”
The male lion has since been euthanized, the center said. The park also said it has never had an incident of this nature and that “safety is very, very important.”
The park was quickly evacuated after the attack and will remain closed until further notice, according to reports.