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Wild cat sanctuary owner reacts to lion attack in NC

The owner of a wild cat rescue center being built in Fair Bluff reacted to a lion attack at a...
The owner of a wild cat rescue center being built in Fair Bluff reacted to a lion attack at a sanctuary near Burlington, N.C.(Shazir Haque)
Updated: Dec. 31, 2018 at 5:32 PM EST
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FAIR BLUFF, NC (WECT) - A big cat rescue sanctuary is under construction in Columbus County, and there have been safety concerns from citizens since the start.

One day after a lion killed an intern at the Conservators Center in Burlington, the owner of the sanctuary here talked about safety precautions.

Town leaders in Fair Bluff OKed Shizzy’s Wild-Cat Rescue to be built in the summer, hoping to use it as a tourist attraction.

According to owner Shazir Haque, his sanctuary will have a 10-foot tall perimeter fence, a thick gauge wire so animals can’t bite through anything and he said there will always be more than one person there when moving or feeding an animal.

Shazir said he doesn’t know what kind of safety precautions the Conservators Center has in place, and has never worked with the Burlington attraction.

He said he understands people’s concerns and that’s why he is doing everything he can to make it safe.

“It’s a very realistic concern to have. Safety is absolutely our main focus," Haque said. “It’s why we chose a safety presentation for our first meeting at town hall. ... Whenever we had our first public hearing, we talked about nothing other than safety.

“We’re adopting policies that we believe are going to keep the people there safe. We’re building relationships with the police department in Columbus County, in Fair Bluff and communicating with town hall and getting as many people involved as we possibly can to make sure the people of Columbus County and the surrounding counties continue to be safe.″

The Fair Bluff sanctuary is set to open in 2020.

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