Visitors at a Dallas Zoo got a little more action than they expected when they witnessed a lion kill a lioness. The worst part was that the attack seemed to be unprovoked
Male lions do not often kill female lions, especially in captivity. In the wild, lionesses do the hunting for the pride and are valuable and high ranking members. Male lions have been known to kill other male lions that threaten their dominance or lion cubs that get in the way of mating.
Lynn Kramer, vice president of animal operations and welfare at the Dallas Zoo, said that he had not seen another incident such as this, in his 35 years of working with zoo animals.
Witnesses said that they did not realize the lion was attacking the lioness at first and thought the pair were playing. When Johari, the female lion, began to struggle and show signs of distress, they realized something was not right.
The male lion had never attacked another lion before and zoo workers quickly removed the other lions from the exhibit after the incident. Johari had recently celebrated her 5th birthday at the zoo and was loved by everyone who cared for her.
“Johari was a remarkable animal, as are all of our lions,” said Kramer.
The zoo is currently investigating the killing to determine what may have caused the male lion to attack the lioness.
Image from Wikimedia Commons.