The Conversation

Lion Kill: I Owe Dianna Hanson An Apology

I have no idea why I so stupidly and carelessly assumed the young California woman killed by a lion last week had been careless. But I did, and I was dead wrong. Twenty-four-year-old Dianna Hanson wasn't playing Grizzly Man, she was doing her job; cleaning a lion cage under the assumption the 550-pound lion was safely locked up.

Tragically, the African lion wasn't. Through some accident of events, it was able to escape the cage and after doing so went right after Dianna; killing her instantly with a swipe of its paw that broke her neck.

"She was a vivacious, terrific kid, and we are heartbroken about her death," she said. "But we wanted people to know that she loved what she was doing, and we don't want this accident to cast dispersions on her character or hurt the program at Cat Haven."

Well, I'm guilty as hell of that, and now I'm sorry as hell. I couldn't have been more wrong.

I have also corrected my original post.


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