By: Linda Lee
This is so incredibly sad on every level that zoo keepers were forced to kill these two majestic creatures…
Two African lions were killed by zoo keepers in Chile on Saturday after a 20-year-old zoo visitor, Franco Luis Ferrada stripped naked and jumped into their enclosure.
The Guardian reports that zoo keepers first tried turning a hose on the lions to protect the allegedly suicidal man, and then fired a tranquilizer dart, which missed and accidentally hit the man instead.
The zoo keepers had no other choice as Ferrada was being mauled, but to shoot the lions with live rounds in order to protect human life. The lions both died a short time later, while Ferrada was rushed to a local health clinic, where he remains in critical condition.
Critics took to social media to complain about the handling of the incident, with many condemning the zoo for killing the lions. The zoo director Alejandra Montalya defended the actions of her staff and explained that they had followed the “established protocol” to deal with such circumstances.
“When a persons life is at risk, you have to sacrifice the animals, the shooter decided to save the life of the person and unfortunately we had to sacrifice two members of our family.”
A vigil was held for the dead lions, which had been residents at the zoo for more than 20 years on Saturday night.