Volunteer keeper lost her life today...

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Yvonne G

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It's a breaking news story, so I don't have all the details yet, but at the Cat Haven today a volunteer keeper was found dead in the lion cage, with the lion. The lion had to be shot and killed.

This is Cous Cous about three years ago with Dale, the owner of the Cat Haven and I:

3takingCousCousforwalk-NoteturtleT-.jpg


Cous Cous was a rare Barbary Coast lion and was raised by Dale from a cub. The Barbary coast lions are extinct in the wild. I don't know why the volunteer was inside the cage with the lion.
 

wellington

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Is that the lion that had to be killed, the one that Dale raised from a cub? That's sad, for both the cub and volunteer. Let us know what else you find out.
 

Yvonne G

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Yes, that's the lion that killed the volunteer. At this time, he was a full grown lion.
 

CourtneyAndCarl

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It makes me sad when they kill the animals after something like this...

The fact that the volunteer was in with the lion in the first place is a HUGE no no, so that should have been taken into consideration before he was killed, in my opinion.


Either way, it's sad that it had to end the way it did for all involved
 

Yvonne G

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Dale had Cous Cous out and about on a leash almost every day. The lion was used to people. Once he got to be a big boy, he was then relegated to staying inside his habitat. They never took unnecessary chances with him because even though he was fairly tame, and had been raised from a cub, he was still a wild animal...with big teeth, claws and one just never knows. I don't think even Dale would go into the lion cage at this time without first making sure the lions were locked inside their house. I'm very interested in hearing the rest of this story. From what I'm understanding, there were only two volunteers on duty today, as the facility is closed on Wednesdays. The news report said that other volunteer was trying to distract the lion away from the first volunteer. So there will be an eye witness report eventually.
 

wellington

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CourtneyAndCarl said:
It makes me sad when they kill the animals after something like this...

The fact that the volunteer was in with the lion in the first place is a HUGE no no, so that should have been taken into consideration before he was killed, in my opinion.


Either way, it's sad that it had to end the way it did for all involved



I totally 1000000000% agree with this. A wild animal acting like a wild animal, gets killed for acting like a wild animal. Go figure:(
 

Laura

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CourtneyAndCarl

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It sounds like Dale took all the responsible and necessary precautions to keep Cous Cous and everyone else safe...

Even if it was an emergency, why not call up the owner and have him come out to get in with the lion that he raised and understands? There is absolutely no reason that this should have happened...

And to think, a killer whale kills someone and started doing shows again within a year... a whale, mind you, that had already killed 3 different people. Makes me sad that he was in captivity in the first place, but to just do it all over again? How dumb can people be!?
 

Laura

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If there was Food involved.. cats get Very posesive over it.. ever tried taking a bone away from some dogs? try that with a Lion... We dont know for sure what really happened yet..I highly doubt she 'went in' with the cat to pet him.. that was not allowed...
 

Tom

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This is a tragedy in every way. So sad. I hope something can be learned from whatever went wrong. Laura and I know people that have handled lions for decades without incident. I've been around a half dozen of them on various jobs and even participated in raising a few. They are no joke, but its safe enough if certain safety protocols are observed.
 

ascott

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A lion is a lion, no matter what silliness we humans think we have taught it....very sad the volunteer traded her life in this situation. A shame that the lion was "dispatched" for simply doing what lions do....
 

Zabbi0

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CourtneyAndCarl said:
It sounds like Dale took all the responsible and necessary precautions to keep Cous Cous and everyone else safe...

Even if it was an emergency, why not call up the owner and have him come out to get in with the lion that he raised and understands? There is absolutely no reason that this should have happened...

And to think, a killer whale kills someone and started doing shows again within a year... a whale, mind you, that had already killed 3 different people. Makes me sad that he was in captivity in the first place, but to just do it all over again? How dumb can people be!?

I agree100%. Sea World SA is directly across the street from my house. Naturally, it was my first ever job. There were so many instances of injuries and occasional deaths throughout the years by the killer whales here and I know at other locations as well. They are absolutely MISERABLE. I quit after about 6 months after I got an inside look of how the animals were treated- especially the penguins. I have never been back to the park and I just have a strong opinion about Sea World. I absolutely hate what they do to their animals. Some people there genuinely care and think they take care of them but they just simply don't. The animals are miserable and it shows because there are instances where they act out. And they are not fed nearly enough.

In the case of the lion and volunteer- it is truly tragic. I didn't know volunteers could even go into cages? I wish there were stricter regulations. Or maybe there is & unfortunately they were not being followed. In any case, I am sorry for both losses. And I agree- I feel sorry for the animal. The animal should not have been shot after the fact for doing something an animal was expected to do on the fault, if unfortunate, of someone else. I am interested to read more as well. If anyone finds an article, please share.
 

Laura

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Even tho I know the people,, and the facility.. I dont know what happened.. something tragic.. human error?
I know what the news has reported.. we all know that that is almost never what Really happened..
This was Not a Movie cat... not trained that way.... he was handraised, but not worked.
IF she was IN the enclosure and a gate was not closed or failed? and he went after her.. he did not give her up... The 'rescue' people had to get her out.. The protocal there is to shoot the cat to save the person... A tranqulizer gun, IF available, can take a lot of time to work on a cat.. its not always an option, even if available. I dont know if it was....
The rescue people had to get the keeper out and try to save her.. one option.. they took it.. and two wonderful Beings are now dead.
She loved what she was doing... had a passion for Life. She loved this Lion.. Im sure it would not have been her choice..
Ive been in a attack situation before.. and we chose to protect the cat and endure the pain...All involved survived.... mental and physical scars remain.. you never know how you will react until it happens to you.. and I hope it never does.. again. When you work around those animals or with them.. its a chance you take.. you have to accept it.. but again.. I have no clue what really happened in this case today... all i know is the end result.. Im numb and hurting for all.


http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/03/06/3201469/animal-attack-reported-at-cat.html#disqus_thread
Her father is quoted in this article...
 

wellington

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I just saw this on our news here in Chicago. I sure hope this doesn't affect the whole sanctuary. It was stated authorities want to know why there weren't more people on hand supervising.
 

Kerryann

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wellington said:
I just saw this on our news here in Chicago. I sure hope this doesn't affect the whole sanctuary. It was stated authorities want to know why there weren't more people on hand supervising.

It was also on the news here in Michigan this morning as well. I an very Saad for everyone involved.
 

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Really sad....Sorry for the loss of the volunteer
A shame they killed the lion for being true to instinct.
 

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It is human error - no matter. The lion did not make a mistake, but suffered consequences no matter. Lions can't open doors, use keys, read signs, or protocols.

I worked a zoo, and we were always paired when working large carnivores. Once while a polar bear was behind two secure doors, in a holding pen, well labeled that keepers were in the exhibit, another keeper, a volunteer thought they were supposed to clean the exhibit, and opened the first of the two doors to let the bear onto the exhibit so the holding could be cleaned. That sound, of that first door opening sent chills all over, and the other keeper on exhibit and I quickly did a scramble along a wrought iron fence across the moat and got out of there. While that scrambling was going on, we heard the second door open, and as we stood on the wall across the moat that polar bear was on exhibit.

That kind of close call happens more than is acknowledged by institutions that have these kinds of animals. Apologies and reprimands are handed out. I got in trouble myself for suggesting we should treat the matter like we were in a bomb squad, kill the person who erred. The person who errored and endangered my life got a verbal reprimand, mine was written.

It was human error.

Will
 

Cowboy_Ken

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And had your encounter ended like this one, would the person who erred been charged with manslaughter? I think not. I'm sure however, they would have lost their job…
 
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