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Family: Death of woman in lion cage was accident

March 8, 2013

DUNLAP, Calif. (AP) — Family members of a 24-year-old intern killed by a lion at a Central California animal park don’t fault the operator and believe the facility followed safety procedures.

Investigators believe the 5-year-old male lion lifted the door of a partially closed feeding cage with its paw and killed Dianna Hanson as she cleaned a bigger enclosure area. And a coroner says the women were killed instantly when lion swiped or lunged at her.

Diana Hanson’s brother tells the AP that the family is relieved that she didn’t suffer and that the incident was just a tragic accident. The coroner’s report says other injuries happened after death.

Investigators have been focusing on the cage door that the 550-pound animal managed to escape through to reach the volunteer intern.

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