Two lions were shot to death at a zoo after a suicidal man jumped into the enclosure and began antagonizing them.
Two lions were shot to death after they began attacking a man who jumped into their enclosure to antagonize them in a suicide attempt.
At around 11:30 AM on Saturday, the man jumped on the roof of the enclosure, ripped through the fencing to get inside the enclosure, and began taking his clothes off. Once he had entered the lion’s domain, he began to antagonize them while shouting “very apocalyptic, very religious” proverbs.
Since they were being bothered, the lions began to maul the man and even started to drag him to their den, at which point the two majestic animals were shot to death.
The park’s director, Mauricio Fabry, told CNN,
“It was imminent (to) save this man and we had to shoot the lions.”
He explained that the decision to shoot the cats rather than tranquilize them was made because tranquilizers take several minutes to take effect and the man’s life was in immediate danger. A statement about the incident from the zoo read:
“Due to the circumstances and to firstly protect the life of this person, we found ourselves obliged to apply all of our security protocols.”
After the incident, the man was rushed to the hospital in critical condition and has been in the ICU ever since. Investigators found a letter in the man’s clothes that many believe was a suicide note. The park’s director described it as a Christian letter that had drawings of lions and stated that God would protect the man. He also added that the man’s mother had recently died.
If the park had known prior to shooting the lions that this man had a death wish, would they still have sacrificed the lives of the lions to save the man? It’s likely that they would have, simply because human lives are valued over animals and the zoo must maintain a reputation of being safe for people.
The zoo wrote on their Facebook page to explain what happened and said that the death of the big cats is “deeply painful for each of us,” especially those who care for the lions daily.
The male lion that was killed was born at the zoo and the female was rescued from the circus.
They were both shot and killed in front of visitors to the zoo, and the zoo remained open throughout the weekend with only the lion enclosure being closed off for the investigation.
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