Demand Justice for Lion Killed at Zoo

1280px-Beli_lav_Belgrade_zoo via Petar Milošević

Target: Mark Laviolette, Chair, Ottawa Humane Society

Goal: Investigate and punish zoo owners who shot an escaped lion in an empty zoo.

A lion was recently shot to death after it escaped from its enclosure at an Ottawa, Ontario zoo. The adult  African white lion was spotted wandering outside of its enclosure by zookeepers, who within minutes made a panicked decision to shoot the animal instead of tranquilize it. The zoo claims that the decision was made in the interest of public safety despite the fact that it was closed and empty for the winter.

According to Papanack Zoo spokesperson Kerri Bayford, the lion appears to have escaped due to human error, though no specifics were given. After breaching the fence of its primary enclosure, it wandered through common areas. Ontario Provincial Police were summoned to help contain the animal as the zoo owner shot it to death with a rifle. In 2010, a tiger escaped from a similar enclosure at the same zoo, though it was successfully tranquilized and returned to its cage.

A number of unfortunate factors contributed to this lion’s death, including human error and a too-hasty decision to euthanize it. Had proper security and emergency procedures been laid out ahead of time, it is likely that this situation could have been avoided completely. Sign the petition below to demand that an investigation is launched into this distressing event and that the responsible parties are punished.

Dear Mr. Laviolette,

An African white lion was recently shot to death after escaping its enclosure and wandering throughout the Papanack Zoo, which was closed to the public for the winter. When employees discovered the lion, they quickly made the decision to kill it rather than tranquilize it. The Ontario Provincial Police arrived to help contain the animal while the zoo owner shot it. This is not the first time an animal has escapeda tiger escaped its cage in 2010 and was tranquilized and returned.

Had zoo staff been more careful with their duties and had the owner made a more sound decision, it is likely that this tragic killing could have been avoided. In order to ensure that this and other zoos adhere strictly to animal protection standards, an investigation into this incident must be conducted. We, the undersigned, demand that you investigate this thoughtless shooting and ensure that those responsible are held accountable.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Petar Milošević

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  1. Horrible. Throw the book at the lot of these incompenent people. Maximum fines jail time etc. Zero tolerance. There were many ways to prevent the death (murder) of this innocent lion who should never have been in captivity in the first place!

  2. Carol Bowen says:

    Murdering Bastards. There was no need for this to happen !!!

  3. Kathy Khoshfahm says:

    Mark – If this particular zoo had employed properly trained staff, and if this zoo was in fact closed and empty for the winter, this lion should have never lost its’ life. If the law is going to allow the imprisonment of wild animals in small enclosures strictly for our viewing pleasure, then it should also be law that these institutions be equipped to handle incidents such as this. Unfortunately, this world is Hell on Earth for most animals. What a waste…

  4. The staff at this zoo MUST be held accountable & punished for their poor & unwise decision — we do NOT want repeats of such animal killings ever again — Only idiot-monsters would KILL this magnificent animal for no reason at all — these imbeciles do not even appreciate the privilege of sharing space with such a majestic animal — these mindless & merciless humans should be no where near animals no less “taking care” of them — MAKE THEM PAY so they’ll NEVER commit such a crime again.

  5. Killing is never the answer
    As protectors and civilized human beings
    We should use our intelligence to protect and find alternate methods
    Tranquilizing the lion instead of killing him
    would have been the compassionate, safe way for all KILLING is no excuse
    Just pathetic

  6. Pitiful just pitiful, don’t go in ZOOS!
    You take off to these persons their weapons and they are nothing anymore. Wild Animals just want to escape this Hell for them that zoos are! Punish these zoo owners, you’re afraid about animals, don’t work with them! you can’t care of an animal? don’t get one!

  7. A beautiful white lion wasted away because of a bubble-headed zoo staff who had no common sense or concern in helping the lion. To prevent him from escaping again, lets just kill him so it won’t happen again was their solution. Why supply tranquilizers at zoos if they will not use them? If this lion was not entrapped in a zoo this would not of ever happened to him. I HATE ZOOS!! and it is pretty apparent that the lion felt the same.

  8. Poor lion. It was just being an animal. And zoo personnel were just being the idiots they are! DONT GO TO ZOO’s THEY ARE NO BETTER THAN CIRCUSES !! SUPPORT ONLY GOOD SANTUATIES!!!!CLOSE THIS ZOO DOWN PERMANENTLY. Zoos only exist to make ppl money. They don’t care for the animals.

  9. Yolanda Bernhard says:

    I like to donate 9mm cartridges for this scum of human

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