YANCEYVILLE, N.C. (WNCN/CBS News) — Alexandra Black, 22, a recent graduate of Indiana State University working as an intern at the Conservators Center in North Carolina, died during a lion attack on Sunday.
According to the wildlife conservatory, the deadly attack happened as a professional animal keeper was cleaning the lion’s enclosure and the lion slipped past a locked area.
Black, a native of New Palestine, Indiana, had been working at the center for about two weeks and was “quickly killed” during the attack, a news release from the center said. The lion was shot and killed.
Here is the full statement from her family:
Alex loved animals. Our beautiful, intelligent, passionate Alex had worked, unpaid, at several animal-related ventures, most recently at Wolf Park in Battleground, Indiana. This was her fourth internship, because she really wanted to make a career of working with animals.
She was looking forward to this first out-of-state internship at the Conservators Center in North Carolina starting 10 days ago.
She was a beautiful young woman who had just started her career, there was a terrible accident, and we are mourning. But she died following her passion.
We ask that you consider donating to Wolf Park in Battleground, Indiana, to honor Alex.
Statement obtained by CBS News