Sunday, 17 November 2013

Sanctuary: Gate worked properly in cougar attack

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The owners of a suburban Portland wild cat sanctuary where a longtime employee was killed by a cougar this weekend said Tuesday that a gate to a smaller cage where the animals should've been locked up was operating properly.

WildCat Haven in Sherwood said its head keeper, 36-year-old Renee Radziwon of Portland, broke a safety protocol that calls for two qualified workers in an enclosure with animals. Radziwon was alone, cleaning the main enclosure when one of the cougars attacked her Saturday.

Two cougars were found roaming freely in the main enclosure where Radziwon was mauled to death, WildCat Haven said in a statement. Another cougar was secured in the smaller, 15-by-15 cage within the enclosure.

Autopsy results showed Radziwon died at the scene of multiple bite wounds concentrated on her head and neck.

Her death was eerily similar to that of 24-year-old Dianna Hanson, who was killed by a lion at a wild cat park in central California earlier this year. Hanson also was killed while cleaning an enclosure.

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