The father of a female intern killed by a lion at an exotic animal sanctuary near Fresno is speaking out.
Fresno authorities say the attack happened at Project Survival's Cat Haven, a hundred acre wooded sanctuary that's home to rare cats including lions, tigers, and jaguars.
24-year-old intern Dianna Hanson was inside a cage with a 350 pound lion named Couscous when it attacked her. Hanson died at the scene. A Fresno County Sheriff's deputy later shot and killed the animal.
Authorities say the sanctuary had the necessary permission to operate.
"We come in, we inspect it with our officers, our wildlife officers, and if they do not pass inspection, they do not operate. At this time they have an active permit that was okay'd by our department," said Sheriff Gregg Collins.
Animal expert Jeff Corwin says, while authorities may have given the sanctuary the green light, wild animals are very dangerous.
"If you look at your domestic cat, you can see those natural, innate abilities to be a hunter. When you take that to a level of a tiger or lion, that's timed by many, many thousands when it comes to predatory ability and strength," said Corwin.
Hanson's father said she was living her dream.
"It was her dream job. She was so happy there. That makes it bearable that she died so happy."