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Escaped lion kills zoo worker

Credit: PA

A zoo employee has been killed by a lion in the US after the animal escaped from its enclosure.

The lion was shot dead following the attack.

In a statement, the Conservators Center in North Carolina said an employee was killed while cleaning out an enclosure at 4.30pm (11.30am local time).

"While a husbandry team led by a professionally trained animal keeper was carrying out a routine enclosure cleaning, one of the lions somehow left a locked space and entered the space the humans were in and quickly killed one person," the zoo said in a statement.

It is not yet clear how the lion escaped.

The name of the victim has not been released.

The Conservators Center said it will be closed until further notice.