Friday, May 27, 2011

Horror at the zoo: Pair of lions tear apart escaped cuddly baby bearcat in front of terrified children - 27th May 2011

A family day out turned into a nightmare for zoo visitors after they witnessed a bearcat cub being ripped apart by a pair of lions.

The horror unfolded at the Chessington World of Adventure in Surrey after a pair of the cute mammals - also known as binturongs - climbed a tree before dropping from some overhanging branches and landing in the neighbouring lion enclosure.

One of the cubs was immediately set upon by the lions, who made short work of killing it in front of shocked spectators.

The second cub was heard shrieking as it hurried into the undergrowth and out of view. It died of fright shortly afterwards.

Jason Harcombe, who had taken his two-year-old son to the zoo, told The Sun: 'The poor animal didn't stand a chance. The lions jumped on it straight away and killed it.

A zoo spokesman said: 'Before it was discovered the young binturong had escaped, they had ventured into the Asiatic lions' enclosure.

'This is an unfortunate incident which Chessington is taking very seriously. Our Zoo team, particularly the keepers concerned, are very distressed by the events.

'We are very sorry for any visitors who may have been upset by witnessing the incident.'

The zoo was home to a single family of bearcats consisting of two adults and three cubs. The parents and remaining single cub have now been moved to a different area of the zoo. An investigation into the incident is being carried out. Source