SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Nation/World

March 9, 2013

Family: Death of woman in lion cage was accident

(Continued)

He said the facility will reopen to the public on Sunday.

When the attack occurred, Anderson said he and two other Cat Haven workers had left to take a cheetah to exhibit at a school. Hanson and another worker remained at the facility.

Whether Hanson was performing a function that placed her in danger is being investigated by Cal-OSHA, which also is trying to determine if employees were properly instructed about potential danger, as required.

In addition, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which enforces the federal Animal Welfare Act, is also looking to understand why the lion turned on the intern.

USDA inspectors conduct multiple unannounced inspections of Cat Haven every year and never had found a violation, Sacks said. Federal regulations pertain only to animal treatment.

Cat Haven breeds and keeps lions, tigers, jaguars, lynx and other exotic cats and takes them out for public appearances. There were nearly 30 cats at the park during the accident, including two lions.

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