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Family of lion attack victim says facility not at fault

  • This undated photo provided by Paul Hanson shows his sister, Dianna Hanson. Dianna Hanson, a 24-year-old intern at the Cat Haven in Dunlap, Calif., was mauled to death by a lion at the exotic animal park on Wednesday, March 6, 2013. (AP Photo/Paul Hanson)

FRESNO — Family members of the young woman killed in a lion attack at a Central California animal park say they believe no rules were broken and the volunteer worker's death was a tragic accident.

Investigators think the 550-pound male African lion lifted the door of a partially closed feeding cage with its paw and killed 24-year-old Dianna Hanson as she cleaned a bigger enclosure area Wednesday, Fresno County Coroner David Hadden has said.

Hanson died immediately from a broken neck, according to the coroner's autopsy report. Other injuries were sustained after her death, the report states.

Family members say they're relieved the young woman was killed instantly when the lion swiped or lunged at her at Cat Haven, a 100-acre private zoo run by the nonprofit group Project Survival.

"We're thankful to know she didn't suffer," Hanson's brother, Paul R. Hanson, told The Associated Press.


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