Questions Remain Over Death of Experienced Sanctuary Worker Killed by Wildcat

An animal sanctuary employee was attacked and killed by a wildcat on the night of Saturday, November 9 in the Portland area. The employee, Renee Radziwon, 36, of Portland, was said to be experienced and have an “amazing” relationship with such large cats according to officials at the facility. Radziwon’s death was a tragedy for the entire community, especially at the sanctuary where she worked for eight years.

The animal sanctuary involved is the WildCat Haven Sanctuary located in suburban Sherwood, Oregon. Deputy Mark Nikolai of the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office, confirmed Radziwon’s death after being attacked by a cougar. She was a certified tech and veteran of the sanctuary.

The sanctuary handbook specifies that two qualified staff members must be present in the enclosure during a lock out of a dangerous animal, yet Radizwon was believed to have been alone with the cougar. According to local Sheriff Robert Wurpes, the cougar was locked in a cage in response to the attack.

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