Lion kills lioness in front of visitors at Dallas Zoo

AUSTIN Mon Nov 18, 2013 6:52pm EST

Related Topics

AUSTIN (Reuters) - A male lion killed a lioness with a crushing bite to the neck in the Dallas Zoo at the weekend as families and other stunned visitors looked on, and the zoo said it was investigating what may have triggered the seemingly unprovoked attack.

The five-year-old lioness named Johari died quickly, and there were no visible signs of trauma, the zoo said in a statement on Monday. After the attack, zoo staff scrambled to remove the remaining four lions in the exhibit from public view.

"This is a very rare and unfortunate occurrence. In my 35 years as a veterinarian in zoos, I've never seen this happen," said Lynn Kramer, vice president of animal operations and welfare at the Dallas Zoo.

Many visitors did not realize the lioness was being attacked by a member of the pride, who casually used its jaws to grab the lioness by the throat.

It then appeared to back away from the lifeless lioness, in video of the incident shown on local broadcaster WFAA.

"Everyone thought they were playing at first but then they could see that she was struggling," Jim Harvey, who witnessed the killing, told WFAA.

The lioness, nicknamed Jo-Jo, recently celebrated her fifth birthday. Nearly 100 guests sang "Happy Birthday" to her while she enjoyed a frozen cake, the zoo said.

(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Cynthia Johnston, Bernard Orr)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see
Comments (2)
AnotherNobody wrote:
It´s the circle of life………

Nov 22, 2013 8:59am EST  --  Report as abuse
SavageNation wrote:
Will PETA or ALF protest the obviously misogynistic MALE Lion for his murderous rampage?

Nov 25, 2013 3:30pm EST  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.