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Zoo officials kill six lions, including four cubs

Six lions killed at popular zoo in Britain
Six lions killed at popular zoo in BritainPhoto by Morne de Klerk/Getty Images

A popular wildlife safari park in Britain is on the receiving end of public outcry after word got out that six lions in their care have been destroyed, reported Sunday's publication of the Daily Mail.

A lion, lioness and four cubs were destroyed at the Longleat Safari Park last month.

Officials at the zoo blame the killings on an increase in pregnancies at the park. On Sunday, the Longleat Safari Park posted this statement on their Facebook page:

In regards to the lions, there has been a large increase in pregnancies, resulting in a 40 per cent increase in population. This has unfortunately resulted in excessive violent behaviour, putting 21 of them at risk.

The park added:

Longleat takes the utmost care in trying to protect the welfare and safety of all our animals.

The explanation has fallen flat with many individuals.

One individual posted the following comment after the safari park's statement:

It doesn't matter about costs it's about the animals life's poor innocent cubs . It's the zoos job to control pregnancy how about spaying? Instead of killing .

Another individual stated:

Well shouldn't you have controlled the amount of pregnancies? You should have seen this coming if you had the right knowledge to care for these animals. If you can't control their breeding, you shouldn't have them.

According to the Daily Mail publication, experts and some zoo employees are baffled and upset about the killings.

John Knight, a veterinary consultant and big cat expert, stated:

Most zoos have a contraceptive programme in place and manage to control populations perfectly well.

‘That’s why this seems a bit odd, in a way. It’s just not a problem that most zoos experience. It does seem such a shame that so many young animals have been involved.’

The Longleat Safari Park is not the only zoo agency to come under fire of late - on Sunday, an 18-month-old giraffe named "Marius," was killed at the Copenhagen Zoo in Denmark. The killing of the healthy, juvenile giraffe has upset thousands of people across the world. Click here to read more about what happened.

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