OSHA to investigate Conservators Center after deadly lion attack

CASWELL COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- The state is launching an investigation into the Conservators Center after a 22-year-old intern was mauled to death by a lion.

Alexandra Black, who had been interning for about two weeks at the Caswell County wild animal refuge, was killed Sunday.

The Occupational Safety and Health Division, which is a part of the Department of Labor, will look into the deadly incident.

"The inspector will seek to determine if any occupational safety and health standards were violated by reviewing safety records and interviewing witnesses if they exist. We have limited details at this time," Labor Department spokesperson Dolores Quesenberry told ABC11.

"OSHA representatives have not been on site," said attorney Patrick Kane who represents the nonprofit animal center. "The Center is fully cooperating with all agencies, including the Department of Labor/OSHA."

The staff remains closed to the public but continues to care for several wild animals.

Chopper 11 HD flew over the Center on Tuesday during the morning feeding. A worker went around the property in what appeared to be a golf cart. She was seen unlocking gates and going through a labyrinth of fencing to toss food inside cages.

It was in one of these enclosure areas where Black was killed. She was cleaning up with a team when a lion named Matthai wandered in and quickly attacked her.

Officials still can't say how he escaped a locked area.

RELATED: Neighbor recalls lion escaping from Conservators Center years ago

A staff member called 911 and said, "This is the Conservators Center on East Hughes Mill Road. We have a lion attack. One of our interns. We need an ambulance as soon as possible."

Visitors were at the center when the attack happened and they were quickly rushed to safety.
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