Visitors to the Metropolitan Zoo in Santiago, Chile were shocked when a man forced himself into the lions’ cage. At first, the lions ignored the man, but then pounced after being taunted by him in an apparent suicide attempt.
Zookeepers resorted to using live ammunition when their tranquilizer dart missed the lions and instead struck the intruder, identified by local media as 20-year-old Franco Luis Ferrada.
According to witnesses, Ferrara trespassed into an area where the public are not allowed. From there he jumped, took off his clothes and started to attract the lions.
A zookeeper shot the lions, a male and female, with live rounds. They died a short time later. Ferrada was rushed to a local health clinic, where he was in critical, but stable condition.
Critics took to social media to complain about the handling of the incident, with many condemning the zoo for killing the lions.
Alejandra Montalva, the head of Metropolitan Zoo, defended the use of lethal force and said there was not enough time to stop the attack and that they’d followed the “established protocol” to deal with such circumstances.
The community has been deeply affected by this tragedy. A vigil was held for the dead lions, which had been residents at the zoo for more than 20 years, near their enclosure on Saturday night.
What do you think?