A day after a lion attacked and killed a 22-year-old intern at the Conservators Center in Caswell County many questions still remain.
Alexandra Black worked at the Conservators Center as an intern and was there for less than two weeks before the deadly attack.
Neighbors of the Conservators Center say the emotions are still very raw after a lion attacked and killed 22-year-old Alexandra Black while she cleaned an enclosure.
"Very sad mistake on someone's part. Caused a lot of hurt. An animal is dead, a person is dead, and evidently this young girl was finally doing what she always wanted to do, and very sad it ended this way," said Shirley Brown, who can see the Conservators Center from her backyard.
The people we spoke with say something like this has never happened in the 20 years the conservatory has been there.
The Sheriff's Office eventually shot and killed the lion.
"There were efforts used by the facility to tranquilize the animal and it was unsuccessful, and unfortunately, it’s a shame we had to put down a magnificent animal but our main objective was the victim at the time," Caswell County Sheriff Tony Durden said.
Brown says they love the conservatory which makes this even more heartbreaking.
"We love it. We hear the animals when we go out in the morning, you hear lions roaring and the wolves howling. It's unique, and it's a nice thing to have," said Brown.
Sheriff Durden said his deputies did the best they could.
"It’s hard to think about doing things after the fact, but I believe the guys would do their training of going to answer a high stressful incident. I believe they did a stellar job, I believe they did as well as could be expected," said Sheriff Durden.
He also said although they're a small county, he would like to be as prepared as possible when something like this happens.
"We would like to train and be prepared for any scenario and we talked to the County Manager, Emergency Management, and the 911 Director just to see if we could come up with some type of scenario training," Sheriff Durden said. "We’re a small rural county and we don’t have the bells and whistles of the big counties but we try to prepare ourselves and have our deputies ready for anything they may face."
Not everyone is so supportive.
PETA released a statement this afternoon saying in part.
"Humans and captive animals will keep losing their lives as long as unaccredited roadside zoos like the so-called "Conservators Center" keep imprisoning dangerous animals for entertainment."
As for what exactly happened, the Sheriff's Office and Conservators Center are only saying it is still being investigated.