Cat Haven animal park reopens after fatal lion attack

File: Resting lion on the Serengeti, Tanzania
File: Resting lion on the Serengeti, Tanzania
Cody Kwok/Flickr (Creative Commons-licensed)

A California animal sanctuary has reopened to the public less than a week after an African lion killed a 24-year-old intern.

The sanctuary plans to observe a moment of silence at noon for Dianna Hanson, who was killed by the 550-pound male lion Wednesday. The animal was fatally shot by a sheriff's deputy.

Cat Haven founder Dale Anderson says the park is opening to visitors with the consent of Hanson's parents so staff could return to caring for its remaining 29 wild cats.

Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims says the investigation is ongoing, but investigators believe Hanson's death was an accident.

In a letter read Sunday, Hanson's mother, Donna Anderson, says she supports the decision to reopen Cat Haven and "continue their mission of saving my daughter's beloved creatures."