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Snow leopard on the loose in Belgium shot

Dec 18, 2013

Authorities near the Belgian city of Liege were forced to shoot and kill a snow leopard that escaped a zoo Tuesday night. The news comes as a sad ending for the animal that arrived from Austria only two weeks ago.

The leopard escaped through a window Tuesday morning at the Monde Sauvage safari park around 10am, spurring an intense search that included tracking dogs carried on throughout the day until the early hours of Wednesday.  

According to zoo officials, the animal was finally found in a parking lot inside the park, but security was left with no choice but to shoot.

Students in the area were kept indoors for safety precautions, as residents feared the animal was loose in the neighbourhood. Zoo officials are investigating to find out how the animal was able to escape. 

acsonline Dec 18, 2013 13:26

There was no need to shoot-to-kill this beautiful, rare and courageous leopard, far more terrified than terrifying presumably. "Security had no option"? Is that so? "Security" could have used tranquiliser darts and other non lethal methods. You do not make the headlines that way, of course... Honi soit...

janrobinson Dec 18, 2013 14:05

I support absolutely the comment above. The snow leopard is on the Red List of globally endangered species, so I am appalled by the handling of this incident (not to mention the fact that it could occur at all). Were no checks made before such a precious creature was entrusted to this facility?

Rijke Dec 18, 2013 16:38

Can't believe this happened. What a mess! Who gave the order? Did they not know how few of these beautiful animals currently remain. Totally agree with the comments above. Really appalled by the decision.

R.Harris Dec 18, 2013 19:35

To the three comments above: Were you there? Do you have intimate knowledge of the circumstances? No? Well then your opinions aren't worth much.

acsonline Dec 18, 2013 22:37

@R.HARRIS: And were YOU there?? -- Furthermore: you need not be on the spot to voice an opinion. This killing was ignorant and WRONG. So I beg to differ...

rocatwoman Dec 19, 2013 10:57

It doesn't matter who was there at the time to understand this situation. Yes, it's a shame they shot the snow leopard but, it comes down to human safety. This is the fault of the zoo security/person who was in charge of safety for this snow leopard. They are the fault for the death of this awesome creature :-( we are all human and are not perfect but, we also must not be complaisant in any way regarding any animal, no matter what the size of window that may have been left open. We do not leave anything to chance

DaniMayes Dec 20, 2013 12:56

No matter what the situation was - tranquiliser shots should have been used. We as humans, imprisoning animals like that - for any reason - good or bad - are ultimately responsible for these animals. There is no excuse for security not to have these measures available at all times. It's disgusting. R.Harris - you are a disgrace and the Zoo is a disgrace.

wadadlicat Jul 8, 2014 14:50

Why on earth could they not use tranquilliser darts? Poor animal! And as others have pointed out, a species already on the endangered list. Appalling!

British comedian, writer and activist Mark Thomas is not averse to controversy and political investigation.

Following last year’s successful inaugural baking fest, the British Chamber of Commerce’s young networking wing, Brussels New Generation, launches the 2014 Great Brussels Bake-Off on September 22.

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