YANCEYVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — A lion escaped an enclosure at a wildlife conservatory in Caswell County Sunday and killed a young woman interning there, the facility reported in a news release.

The incident happened at the Conservators Center in southern Caswell County north of Pleasant Grove.

According to the wildlife conservatory, the incident happened as an animal keeper was cleaning the lion’s enclosure.

One lion managed to leave a locked area and quickly killed 22-year-old Alexandra Black, the center said in the news release.

The lion was later killed by gunfire, which allowed Caswell County officials to retrieve Black’s body.

Black was a recent graduate of Indiana State University, was a college intern and had been working at the center for about two weeks, officials said. Black was a native of New Palestine, Indiana.

Caswell County officials said several attempts to tranquilize the lion failed. Law enforcement officials told CBS News the lion was named Matthai.

The Conservators Center, at 676 E. Hughes Mill Road, will be closed until further notice.

The center’s website says they have 15 lions in captivity.

The center, which has a Burlington address, was founded in 1999 as an educational non-profit dedicated to providing a specialized home for select carnivore species, their website says. 

Here is the full news release from the Conservators Center:

The Conservators Center is devastated by the loss of a human life today. While a husbandry team led by a professionally trained animal keeper was carrying out a routine enclosure cleaning, one of the lions somehow left a locked space and entered the space the humans were in and quickly killed one person. It is unclear at this time how the lion left the locked enclosure.  

The lion was shot and killed to allow Caswell County personnel to retrieve the worker. This is an ongoing investigation, we have no further details at this time, and the family has not yet been notified. We will offer more information as we know more. The Conservators Center will be closed until further notice.