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Wild cat sanctuary worker killed near Portland


A woman who died after being “gravely injured” while working at the WildCat Haven Sanctuary near Sherwood was identified Sunday by Clackamas County authorities as 36-year-old Renee Radziwon of Portland.

Radziwon is listed as an animal care technician on the sanctuary’s website, according to

Emergency crews were called to the no-kill large-cat haven in the 31000 block of Heater Road about 7 p.m. Saturday night after reports someone inside an enclosure had been bitten, said Sgt. Robert Wurpes with the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office.

Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue crews arrived but could not enter the enclosure because of the large cats still in there. They had to set up a staging area until their safety could be ensured to get to Radziwon.

With the help of the county’s medical examiner’s office, deputies identified the victim and said “Mrs. Radziwon died from injuries consistent with what would be from a wild animal.”

“The WildCat Haven cat sanctuary is a secured facility, where the animals are kept in heavily fenced areas,” said Deputy Mark Nikolai. “There are no reports of any of the animals getting loose from the facility and there is no immediate threat to the citizens in the surrounding areas.”

According to the organization’s website, the sanctuary is a “last hope’ for captive-born wildcats in need. The sanctuary houses tigers, mountain lions, lynx, bobcats and other large cats.

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