A dead lion was filmed submerged in water at a filthy zoo pond only for the park’s officials to claim the animal’s just resting.
The disturbing footage was taken at Handan Foshan Wildlife Zoo in Hebei, China, where a terrified visitor spotted a lion lying lifeless in a dirty pond.
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“The lion is dead. Oh my god, this is so sad,” the visitor, who uploaded the footage on Douyin, was heard saying in the short video.
After the footage went viral, a zoo manager maintained innocence by saying that the animal was alive and “just resting” in the pond.
“We don’t have such an incident here. The lion was just lying there and resting. It wouldn’t die,” the official told Handan Television as reported by MailOnline.
Once the video was being seen on the national level, another zoo staff spoke out and told the reporters that the animal seen in the footage drowned after being ill “for a long time.”
“It’s because the lion had been sick, for a long time. We let it out to enjoy the sun today. It jumped into the pond and [died] due to a lack of energy,” another manager, only known by his surname Yang, told Beijing Television.
Following an alleged investigation into the animal’s death, Wu Guangshu, the zoo’s vice president, insisted that “the lion had died naturally of old age.”
Nevertheless, critics from all over the world have rushed to slam the zoo for their lack of care and slow response.
“What a shameless zoo. One day they said the lion was resting and then the next day they said it died of old age. What kind of excuses are they?” one angry user wrote.
Meanwhile, a number of people and organizations called for the zoo in question to be shut down.
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