Dec. 30 (UPI) -- A lion was shot and killed Sunday after escaping a locked space and killing an employee at a North Carolina zoo.
The Conservators Center in Burlington in Caswell County said a worker was killed during a routine cleaning of an animal enclosure at about 11:30 a.m., NBC News reported.
"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," the zoo said.
The zoo added the lion was shot and killed to allow Caswell County personnel to retrieve the worker's body.
It wasn't immediately clear how the lion escaped, but an investigation into the incident is ongoing.
The name of the victim wasn't immediately released.
The Conservators Center was closed until further notice.