It took one quick swipe, and the neck of 24-year-old Dianna Hanson was broken. Her death by lion was likely immediate, said Fresno, Calif., coroner David Hadden.
"The lion had been fed, the young woman was cleaning the large enclosure, and the lion was in the small cage. The gate of the cage was partially open, which allowed the lion called Cous Cous to lift it up with his paw. He ran at the young lady," said Mr. Hadded, explaining to The Associated Press the scene of Thursday's lion killing at a Central California animal park.
By all accounts, the 5-year-old lion killed her instantly.
Ms. Hanson, from Seattle, was working at the park as an intern. Cous Cous was reportedly her favorite animal.
Investigators say she was talking on her cellphone with a colleague just moments before she was attacked, AP said. The co-worker called authorities to check on Ms. Hanson after the phone conversation ended suddenly, AP said.
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