Zoo officials kill six lions, including four cubs

Six lions killed at popular zoo in BritainPhoto by Morne de Klerk/Getty Images

A popular wildlife safari park in Britain is on the receiving end of public outcry after word got out that six lions in their care have been destroyed, reported Sunday’s publication of the Daily Mail.

A lion, lioness and four cubs were destroyed at the Longleat Safari Park last month.

Officials at the zoo blame the killings on an increase in pregnancies at the park. On Sunday, the Longleat Safari Park posted this statement on their Facebook page:

In regards to the lions, there has been a large increase in pregnancies, resulting in a 40 per cent increase in population. This has unfortunately resulted in excessive violent behaviour, putting 21 of them at risk.

The park added:

Longleat takes the utmost care in trying to protect the welfare and safety of all our animals.

The explanation has fallen flat with many individuals.

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Outrage as lioness and cubs who were the pride of Longleat are put down leaving staff in tears

  • Henry the lion, Louisa the lioness and four cubs were killed last month
  • Longleat bosses claimed the lions were becoming violent and dangerous
  • Employees wept when they heard what had become of the beloved animals

By Martin Delgado and Nick Constable

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Six lions at Longleat Safari Park have been put down, triggering  outrage among staff who claim there was no obvious reason for the animals to be killed.

An adult male called Henry, a lioness named Louisa and four of her cubs were all put to death last month in an operation supervised by vets.

Bosses at the safari park on the Marquess of Bath’s Wiltshire estate insist the decision was taken because of ‘health risks’ after a population increase led to violent behaviour.

At play: Lions and cubs, left, from the pride that was culled by vets at Longleat, pictured three weeks

At play: Lions and cubs, left, from the pride that was culled by vets at Longleat, pictured three weeks

But former workers in the lion reserve have questioned whether the animals should have been destroyed, and revealed that some employees were in tears when they found out what had happened.

The lions are one of the biggest attractions at Longleat, which opened in 1966 as Britain’s first wildlife safari park.

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