Two lions killed at Blair Drummond Safari Park as animal welfare investigation launches


A DEAD lion is seen slumped in a shed at a safari park being probed about animal welfare issues.

Tragic Makalu was pictured with a bloodied face and a gaping jaw injury after being maimed by the pride leader.


A lion was seen slumped in a shed in the safari park

Another poignant image shows an antelope called Arti with what appears to be its intestines hanging down from its stomach and blood spurting from its nose and mouth.

The pictures were leaked by a whistleblower as investigators probed Blair Drummond’s reserve near Stirling.

It is understood that fears have been expressed by staff following the deaths of monkeys, lemurs and an antelope in recent years – another lioness having been put to sleep after being injured by the male cat Zulu.

The source said: “The investigation will examine whether the two female lions were killed due to the lack of proper facilities for the safe introduction of a new male to the group.

Two lions were killed


Two lions were killed

“One death was announced to the public because it occurred in front of visitors, the other was kept in silence.

“One of them had a hole in his back with a broken bone for 23 days before being euthanized.

“The other had his esophagus ruptured and was left all day before being euthanized once the park was closed.

“When new animals are brought into the pride, it has to be done in a controlled manner. There should be a smaller area, which means they can be introduced gradually to avoid fighting.

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“Staff alerted investigators to growing fears for the welfare of animals, including some endangered species.

“The survey will examine whether best practices have been followed.”

Makalu died in July 2016 after being attacked by Zulu, but her death has remained a secret until today.

Files leaked to the Scottish Sun on Sunday detail an examination that shows she suffered serious injuries, including “deep puncture wounds to the ventral neck”, a ruptured food pipe and fractures. It came just a month after 20-year-old lioness Saskia was euthanized for ‘welfare reasons’ after being involved in a fight and bitten in the spine.

It is understood that Zulu, who joined the tourist attraction of the Dutch Zoo Emmen, was subsequently kept away from other animals due to his aggressive behavior. We recounted how a rare Barbary macaque was mutilated to death by lions in front of shocked families after fleeing its enclosure in December.

Blair Drummond bosses said the horror “has never happened before” at the site.

An antelope called Arti also had heartbreaking wounds


An antelope called Arti also had heartbreaking wounds

But sources said a one-year-old red ruffled lemur called Mena was found dead in the nearby tiger enclosure after flying away in June 2018.

Whistleblowers also raised concerns over the death of a hand-raised Nilgai antelope, called Arti, which was opened by another male.

The source added: “The lemur fled with its family for several days before being killed by the tiger. A male antelope was cut off by another with its horn due to assault and was shot.

“The nilgai shouldn’t have been with other males. He was hand raised and didn’t know how to behave.

The safari park informed the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums of the monkey tragedy in December.

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A larger animal care investigation would include the 2016 lion deaths. Biaza confirmed she was investigating a “number of complaints” at Blair Drummond. A spokesperson added: “No other organization is currently involved in this investigation. We cannot discuss these complaints any further. “

The 120-acre site opened in 1970 and is home to more than 300 animals, including elephants, giraffes and rhinos.

A spokeswoman for Blair Drummond said last night: “These are serious allegations, brought to our attention after someone brought their concerns to Biaza earlier this year.

“Animal welfare is of paramount importance here and any allegation of wrongdoing is always taken seriously.”

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