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Woman killed at wild cat sanctuary

by: KOIN NEWS 6 - .A cougar at WildCat Haven sanctuary in Sherwood on July 24, 2013A 36-year-old woman died after being bitten and attacked by a big cat at the Wildcat Haven Large Cat Sanctuary in Sherwood on Saturday.

The Clackamas County Sheriff's Office, with help from the Clackamas County Medical Examiner's Office, identified the victim Renee Radziwon of Portland. According to the sheriff's office, the sanctuary is a secure facility where the animals are kept in heavily fenced areas. There are no reports of any of the animals getting loose from the facility and there is no immediate threat to the citizens.

Wildcat Haven is a no-kill, last hope sanctuary for large cats. As of this summer, there were 67 animals at the sanctuary. They include cougars, tigers, bobcats and other big, wild cats. Some of those animals have a history of abuse and neglect and were rescued into the sanctuary after being discovered in sometimes deplorable conditions.

The local sanctuary founded by Cheryl and Mike Tuller sits on less than eight acres of land in Sherwood. That will change in less than a year when they move into a home 10 times larger — 82 acres — about 40 miles south.

Last year the sanctuary rescued two bengal tigers, Nora and Katie, from their life in Ohio. At WildCat Haven they have more space and a natural setting.