The New York native killed by a lioness in a South Africa drive-through wild animal park Monday was a world traveler who found professional success as part of the visual effects teams behind such TV shows and films as "Game of Thrones" and "Captain America: The Winter Soldier."
Katherine Chappell, 29, posted pictures of her travels and accomplishments on social media, including an Emmy Award her team won for work on the Season 4 finale of HBO's "Game of Thrones."
Her mother, Mary Chappell of Rye, N.Y., told her local newspaper, the Journal News, that her daughter was an explorer who lived her life to the fullest.
"Everyone who met her loved her," Mary Chappell said. "She lived a life of adventure -- she loved traveling, she was full of life."
Katherine Chappell had hoped to make a movie about poaching and its dangers to animals in Africa, her mother told the newspaper.
Her sister Jennifer told the Los Angeles Times that the family would not be interviewed further.
At the time of the attack that ended her life, Chappell was in a car with a tour operator.
The lioness was able to get to Chappell because, for pictures, she had her window rolled down, which according to park officials, is strictly forbidden.
The lioness had been mating and had cubs with her -- factors that may have led to the attack, ABC News reported.
The tour operator was identified as Pierre Potgieter, 66, according to CNN. He suffered injuries to his arm and may have had a heart attack while trying to intervene, CNN reported.
Witnesses said Potgieter's and Chappell's windows were both open, according to CNN, which added that Potgieter's tour company said in a statement that the tour operator "strongly denies that they were driving around the lion enclosures with open windows."
Chappell graduated from Hofstra University in 2008 with a degree in film studies and production, the Associated Press reported. For the last year, she worked in Vancouver, Canada, for special effects firm Scanline VFX on projects including "Game of Thrones," according to the AP. Her visual effects credits listed on IMDb include last year's films "Noah," "Divergent," "Godzilla" and "Captain America: The Winter Soldier."
That company declined to comment.
The lioness responsible for the attack will not be euthanized, the AP reported.
Chappell is survived by her parents, two sisters, a brother and a brother-in-law, the AP reported.
Follow Ryan Parker on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
READ MORE: Lion lunges through open window to fatally maul American tourist in South Africa