CBS47's camera was allowed inside Project Survival Cat Haven on Thursday afternoon, the day after a deadly lion attack. 24-year-old Dianna Hanson was a volunteer intern who had just moved to California from Washington in January. The Fresno County Coroner says she died after her neck was fractured.
Cat Haven says all safety measures were in place when the lion attacked. The owner asked people not to rush to conclusions or believe rumors because the facts will come out when the Fresno County Sheriff's Department releases the results of its investigation.
As owner, Dale Anderson, took CBS47 through the facility. He became emotional about the sudden loss of both a staff member and an animal.
"It's hard in these situations cause we have a dear friend that we lost and one of my friends, cats. And, uh, some poeple don't understand the emotional tie you get with your animals and the people that work here," said Anderson while choking back tears.
Pely, the 10-year-old female lion, cried loudly inside the enclosure she use to share with Cous Cous.
"Everything is off kilter now. It's not balanced. Where before he was here, and so now that everything is not the same, it's upsetting," said Anderson.
The day after the attack, there's still little information about how it happened, exactly where it happened and what may have led up to it. Fresno County Coroner David Hadden says an autopsy performed Thursday show Hanson died because of a broken neck.
"There's on theory that the lion was using the body as a toy," said Hadden.
Hanson also had scratches and bites all over her body, but it was worst on her abdomen. The lion is also being examined by a team of experts in Tulare.
"It's called a necropsy and what they're generally looking at is the general health of the lion. Is there anything that was wrong with the lion?" said Captain Nathaniel Arnold of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.