Coroner: Lion killed woman after escaping cage

Joyce Lupiani

Coroner: Lion killed woman after escaping cage

CREATED Mar. 8, 2013

DUNLAP, Calif. (AP) -- The investigation into a lion attack that killed a 24-year-old volunteer intern is focusing on a cage door.

Authorities believe the 5-year-old male lion broke the neck of the woman at a Central California animal park after it got out of its feeding cage and attacked as she cleaned its bigger area.

Fresno County coroner David Hadden said the investigation is continuing into how the powerful beast and Dianna Hanson came tragically to be in the same place at the same time.

He said Hanson was talking with a co-worker on a cellphone in the moments before she was killed. The co-worker became concerned when the conversation ended abruptly and Hanson failed to call back.

Sheriff's deputies shot the lion after he couldn't be coaxed away from Hanson's body.