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'Human error' led to lion's death at eastern Ontario zoo

Last Updated Feb 29, 2016 at 12:40 pm EST

A lion at the Papanack Zoo. Image credit: Facebook/Papanack Park Zoo.

A zoo owner has killed a lion that escaped from its enclosure at an eastern Ontario zoo.

Ontario provincial police were called to the Papanack Zoo in Wendover, about 50 kilometres east of Ottawa, around 4:40 p.m. on Sunday.

The zoo was closed to the public at the time.

Police say that has soon as they arrived, they saw the African white lion “freely walking” in the park entrance, an unfenced area.

Officers helped the zoo owner “contain” the animal, and it was killed just before 5:30 p.m.

No one else was injured, and neither were any other animals, OPP say.

Owner Kerri Bayford put a statement on Facebook, including the zoo’s email address, saying the lion had been euthanized.

“The risk to the public of trying to sedate the lion was simply too high as the sedative takes too long too kick in and this would have put everyone at risk. Our zoo is closed to the public during the winter and there were no public on the grounds.”

Bayford said the lion got out due to “human error” and the zoo would now be reviewing its policies.

“We have started doing a full audit of all of our large carnivore exhibits. We have already been reaching out to other experts in the field to go over our current policies and protocols and exhibit designs to ensure that an incident such as this will not happen again,” Bayford wrote.

“Once de-briefing with all our staff we will be making a full statement as to what happened to lead to this tragic event today. Our staff couldn’t be more upset about this and I would greatly appreciate if all concerns are directed to myself personally, Kerri Bayford.”

Read the full post below or click here to view it on Facebook.

It is with great regret that I have to announce that today at approximately 5:19 pm our male lion breached it’s primary…

Posted by Papanack Park Zoo on Monday, February 29, 2016