Family of woman mauled by lion pushes for new regulations

BURLINGTON, N.C. (AP) — New details about the lion mauling death of a 22-year old who interned at the Conservator’s Center in Burlington, North Carolina have caused the victim’s aunt to question the animal sanctuary’s safety protocols.

Virginia Black said her niece, Alex, was attacked in an area where the lion could have reached park visitors. She said center staff had to read the instructions for the tranquilizer gun, which they broke before they could use it on the lion.

Black urged lawmakers to strengthen a bill that passed in the House prohibiting private ownership of nonnative exotic animals. She wants more regulation for facilities exempted from the bill’s prohibition, like the sanctuary.

The Conservator’s Center didn’t answer questions about Black’s claims, but said it retrained staff and is confident in its safety measures.

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