Deadly lion attack at a zoological park in North Carolina

Authorities are investigating how the lion escaped a locked area and killed a 22-year old intern.
1:54 | 12/31/18

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Transcript for Deadly lion attack at a zoological park in North Carolina
We do move on to the deadly lion attack in North Carolina. Authorities investigating how a male lion escaped a locked area, killing a 22-year-old intern cleaning part of the facility. The victim's family says she was following her passion. ABC's Stephanie Ramos is there. Reporter: Tonight, an investigation into how a lion was able to escape a locked enclosure at this conservation center in North Carolina and kill a 22-year-old intern, Alexandra black, just two weeks on the job. We've lost a person. We've lost an animal. We have lost our faith in ourselves a little bit today. Reporter: The male lion named Makai, seen in this YouTube video, was moved during a routine enclosure cleaning, and according to the sheriff's office, somehow got out and attacks black. When tranquilizers didn't work, the lion was shot and killed so deputies could retrieve black's body. Her family tonight remembering a young woman who loved animals. "Our beautiful, intelligent, passionate Alex had worked, unpaid, at several animal-related ventures. There was a terrible accident and we are mourning. But she died following her passion." The center is home to more than 80 animals like lions and tigers and is open to the public. I have a big concern on having a 22-year-old intern with two weeks of experience in the proximity close to a lion. A lot of questions in this case tonight. Stephanie Ramos joins us live from outside that center. The investigation just beginning there, Stephanie? Reporter: Absolutely, Tom. The center is shut down indefinitely while authorities investigate. They've been open for almost 20 years. The center's director says they're going to look at everything to make sure the staff and public are safe before they move forward. Tom? Stephanie Ramos for us tonight. Stephanie, thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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