A lion previously housed at the North Carolina Wildlife Conservatory has been put down after killing a 22-year old intern on Sunday after escaping from a locked spaced.

According to the Caswell County Sheriff's Office that deputies shot and killed the lion in order to allow officials to reach the body of the victim after efforts to tranquilize the animal failed. According to the Conservators Center, a "husbandry team" was engaging in a routine cleaning when the lion escaped. Currently, an investigation has been launched into how the lion got out.

"This is the worst day of my life. We've lost a person. We've lost an animal. We have lost the faith in ourselves a little today," Mindy Stinner, the executive director of the Conservators Center told WTVD-TV.

The victim is identified as Alexandra Black, a recent graduate of Indiana University who had been with the conservatory for two weeks at the time of her death.

"She was a beautiful young woman who had just started her career, there was a terrible accident, and we are mourning," Black's family said in a statement. "But, she died following her passion.

The Conservators Center houses 14 lions and more than 80 animals overall, and took in lions and tigers in 2004 as part of an initiative launched by the U.S. Department of Agriculture with caring for animals living in "unacceptable conditions."