[caption id="attachment_73329" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Renee Radziwon[/caption]The identification of the worker recently killed at the Wildcat Sanctuary outside of the southern Oregon town of Sherwood has been released. Her name was Renee Radziwon and she had worked at the sanctuary for eight years and was the head keeper of animals at the time of her death. She was also a certified technician.
So what happened? It is believed that Radziwon may have broken protocol and entered the enclosure of a mountain lion alone. All keepers are required to enter into the enclosures of dangerous animals in the company of another keeper for their safety and protection. It appears that Radziwon, who by all accounts was very much at ease with the animals, may have been too comfortable this time around and let her guard down.
"Her relationship with the cats was amazing," Jim Caliva, a WildCat Haven Sanctuary board member, told The Oregonian. "She knew exactly what she was doing, but apparently there was a mistake. I don't know what it could be."
"They knew her and walked up to the fence," he told The Oregonian. "She was one of the best people I've ever met."
The sanctuary issued a statement that they are "devastated" by the loss of their colleague whom they viewed as part of the family. Her skill in managing the cats was said to be "amazing" and staff are perplexed as to how this could have happened. Wildcat Sanctuary touts itself as the "last hope" for abused and mistreated cougars, lynxes, bobcats, and tigers. It currently cares for sixty such wildcats.
"We are not a zoo for people but a safe haven for the animals in our care," the website states. The facility has been in operation since 2001.
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Worker Killed by Wildcat at Oregon Sanctuary Named