Zoo Tragedy Sees Lion Shot After Tranquiliser Fails

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Motshegetsi on the right, and Majo at Leipzig Zoo

Motshegetsi on the right, and Majo at Leipzig Zoo

There was very sad news from Germany on Thursday after two male lions escaped from their enclosure in Leipzig Zoo.

Majo and Motshegetsi, who had only been at the zoo for a month after moving from a different zoo, managed to break out and jump over a moat to freedom. The frightened pair were found not far from the enclosure before the zoo opened.

One of the lions, said to be Majo, was ushered back into their enclosure but the other, Motshegetsi, was shot dead after staff failed to tranquilise him.

Zoo director Joerg Junhold told reporters that is was “a very, very sad ending, which I really would not have wished for,” but that “personal safety had to take priority.” He added that security within the zoo would be reviewed.

The enclosure had housed lions safely for 15 years without problems. This is the first incident at the zoo in over 100 years; in 1913, six lions at the same zoo were shot dead after they escaped.

It comes four months after two lions at Santiago zoo in Chile were shot, to save a man who had climbed into their enclosure in a suicide bid. May 2016 also saw the sad death of gorilla Harambe at Cincinnati Zoo after a four-year-old boy fell into his enclosure.

Featured image credit: Matthijs van Wageningen