A lioness that escaped from her enclosure in Planckendael animal park on Thursday morning has been shot dead, the park confirmed on Twitter. The animal wandered around in the park throughout the morning, and efforts to put it to sleep failed.
“After two unsuccessful attempts at anaesthesia we had to shoot the animal,” Planckendael said on Twitter. “None of the visitors or staff were endangered.”
The lioness escaped just after the park opened its gates to its members but not the general public, who can normally enter from 10.00 a.m. There were therefore few visitors at the time. It had first been stated that the animal was in a service corridor, but it had in fact been wandering around on the grounds.
All the visitors were taken safely to a restaurant next to the zoo.
According to the police, the park’s evacuation plan was activated, and special forces arrived on the scene. They did not put the animal to sleep, but remained on stand-by to “neutralise” it if the situation got out of control, a police spokesman explained. “The evacuation went quickly, without any panic or victims,” the spokesman said.