An intern keeper died after being mauled by a lion at North Carolina Zoo today.
Alexandra Black, 22, perished after the animal escaped from a locked enclosure at theConservators Center in Burlington.
Shocked keepers then shot the lion to death after the fatal incident.
Black was a graduate of Indiana State University and was part of a team doing a routine cleaning at the zoo.
Investigators are still trying to find out how the lion managed to escape from the enclosure during the cleaning.
It's understood that the lion quickly entered the area and attacked and killed the intern who had been working at the facility for only two weeks.
The Conservators Center will remain closed until further notice after the tragedy.
"The Conservators Center is devastated by the loss of a human life today," it said in a statement.
The Center was founded in 1999 in Mebane. It was then relocated to its current location, a 45-acre, wooded lot in Caswell County.
It is home to more than 80 animals and 20 species, among them lions and tigers.
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