14:38 GMT +322 October 2019
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    'Ignorance of Man': Outrage as Police Kill Escaped Lion in Belgian Zoo

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    A female lion escaped its enclosure at Planckendael Zoo in north of Brussels on Thursday. School children and other visitors were kept inside gift shops and a bus while a veterinarian tried to sedate the animal.

    A female lion has been shot dead by police in a Belgian zoo sparking outrage from animal rights groups and politicians.

    After multiple failed attempts to put the animal to sleep, the police went ahead and shot the animal after she escaped her enclosure, but did not wander outside the zoo.

    In a tweet, the zoo said: "After two failed anesthetic attempts, we had to let the escaped lion sleep."

    Minister in charge of animal welfare Ben Weyts criticized the zoo and announced an investigation.

    "I think this is horrible and inexplicable," Weyts told state broadcaster VRT. "I don't understand why more attempts were not made to sedate the animal," he added.

    Animal rights group Gaia said the efforts to put the lioness back into its enclosure gave the sense of a "cowboy mentality" on the part of the zoo and police.

    In its defense, the zoo said that they did not want to kill the animal, but the situation had become too dangerous.

    "We did not want for this to happen but unfortunately there was no other choice. It is very sad day for the police officers involved and the zoo," a spokesman for Mechelen-Willebroek police said.

    Social media users took to Twitter to express their shock and anger at the zoo administration for not trying harder to avoid killing the animal.

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    society, animal, lion, zoo, Belgium
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