Swedish zoo admits killing nine healthy lion cubs because they became ‘surplus’ animals

Only two of 13 cubs born to different litters at animal park have survived past five years

Only two of 13 lion cubs from different litters have survived the last five years
Only two of 13 lion cubs from different litters have survived the last five years

A zoo in Sweden has said it euthanised healthy lion cubs because it could no longer keep them.

Boras Djurpark, an animal park around 25 miles from Gothenberg, admitted it had put down nine healthy lion cubs since 2012.

Bo Kjellson, chief executive of the park, said healthy animals sometimes had to be euthanised if they were rejected by their pride, or cannot be rehomed elsewhere.

“I think they were killed after two years,” Mr Kjellson told Swedish broadcaster SVT.

“At that time we had tried to sell or relocate them to other zoos for a long time but unfortunately there were no zoos that could receive them, and when the aggressions became too big in the group we had to remove some animals. And then it had to be them.

“It's no secret in any way and we do not try to hide that were working this way. So it's unfortunately a natural path for groups of lions.”

Mr Kjellson said the zoo was unsure of what would happen to the other lions.

Boras Djurpark CEO said the cubs could not be rehomed

“That we will see in the future. Currently, the group works well, but some of them may become surplus animals, and then we will try to place them elsewhere.

“It could be so that we have to put them to death.”

Only two of the 13 cubs, born to three separate litters, have survived the past five years.

Two lions died of natural causes and the remaining cubs were put down.

Helena Pederson, a researcher in animal studies at Gothenburg University, told SVT the euthanisation of animals in zoos raised the question of whether such institutions should be open.

“It is clear that there is a contrast to the public's perception of what a zoo is," she said.

“To kill animals as part of the organisation, I think that upsets quite a few.

“I think we need to contemplate on why it's important for us to have zoos and if it's worth the price the animals pay for it.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in