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Lion that killed wildlife volunteer was healthy

Posted: July 16, 2013 3:56 p.m.
Updated: July 16, 2013 3:56 p.m.

A lion shot dead in March by deputies after it mauled a volunteer at a California wildlife park was in perfect health officials said. This 2012 photo provided by the n-Sync Exotics Wildlife Rescue and Education Center shows a different tiger, a male named Abrams.

 

DUNLAP, Calif. (AP) — A state report says a lion shot dead in March by deputies after it mauled a volunteer at a California wildlife park was in perfect health.

The California Animal Health & Food Safety Laboratory said in the report made available on Tuesday that extensive testing shows the male African lion known as Cous Cous did not have rabies, a viral disease that affects the brain. Had the test been positive, it might have explained why the young lion attacked 24-year-old Dianna Hanson of Washington state.

Hanson was cleaning the lion's cage at Cat Haven in the Sierra foothills east of Fresno. The 550-pound lion had been in an adjoining enclosure.

The report said testing was difficult because sheriff's deputies had shot the lion in the head.

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