Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Keepers shoot escaped lion at Australian zoo

21 hours ago

SYDNEY (AFP) — A lioness was shot dead after escaping from its enclosure at an Australian zoo, forcing dozens of visitors to hide inside buildings, a zoo spokesman said Wednesday.

The nine-year-old big cat, called Jamelia, broke out of its habitat at Mogo Zoo south of Sydney on Tuesday morning as visitors were walking around.

"She never reached a public area but there was a concern she may have," zoo spokesman John Appleby said.

"All our team members and visitors were taken into safe houses."

He said Jamelia, who was raised from birth at the privately-owned zoo some 300 kilometres (185 miles) south of Sydney, was shot dead by a marksman.

"She was moving quite slowly toward a public area, but under the circumstances a decision was made to put her down," he told Australian Associated Press.

"It's an absolute loss, the team are still quite upset," he added. "She was a very important animal and loved by the entire team."


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