Moscow: A woman was attacked and mauled to death by an African lion in Cat Haven sanctuary in California, FresnoBee.com news portal reported.
A 26-year-old female volunteer entered a lion`s enclosure at around midday on Wednesday, where she was attacked by the lion. Another volunteer tried to distract the lion from the victim, but to no avail.
Lt. Tony Spada of state Fish & Wildlife described the incident in the town of Dunlap, some 220 miles to the north of Los Angeles, as "very rare".
"This facility has a very good history. In this case, someone just got too close," Spada was quoted as saying.
A deputy sheriff, who was called to the scene, shot the lion so that medics could render assistance to the victim, but she had died instantly.
A spokeswoman for the sanctuary, said the lion`s name was Cous Cous, it was four years old and was raised at the Cat Haven since it was an eight-week-old cub. Cat Haven is a 93-acre wildlife park and hosts dozens of rare felines, including tigers, leopards, lions, jaguars and cheetahs.