Dallas Zoo lion kills lioness in front of visitors - KiiiTV.com South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

Dallas Zoo lion kills lioness in front of visitors

Posted:
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • 5-year-old Johari is bitten in neck by male in her pride, zoo says
  • "You're watching it and you just can't believe your eyes," witness tells WFAA
  • Exhibit closed after Sunday attack; lionesses expected back on Monday

By CNN Staff

A lion at the Dallas Zoo bit and killed a lioness in their exhibit as visitors watched Sunday afternoon in an attack officials said they couldn't immediately explain.

The 5-year-old lioness, Johari, was bitten in the neck by one of the male lions in her pride around 2:15 p.m., the zoo said.

Dozens of zoo visitors saw the attack, CNN affiliates WFAA and KTXA reported.

"At first you think they're playing, and then you realize he's killing her, and ... you're watching it and you just can't believe your eyes," witness Michael Henshaw told WFAA.

"The male lion that started it just had his mouth over her throat, and everyone thought they were playing at first," witness Jim Harvey told WFAA. 'But then they could see she was struggling."

The zoo said Johari died quickly. Witness Dylan Parker told WFAA that the attacking lion held Johari by the neck "for like 10 minutes ... waiting until it quit moving."

The zoo said its keepers closed the exhibit after the incident and took the attacker and three other lions -- his brother and Johari's two sisters -- off the habitat.

Lynn Kramer, a veterinarian and the zoo's vice president of animal operations and welfare, said the attack was a "very rare and unfortunate occurrence."

"In my 35 years as a veterinarian in zoos, I've never seen this happen," he said.

The two surviving lionesses were expected to be put back onto the habitat on Monday, the zoo said. The zoo said the male lions won't be in the exhibit with the lionesses for now, WFAA reported.

Zoo staff said it wasn't clear why the attack happened, according to WFAA.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

  • Mostafa Remembered

    Mostafa Remembered

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:51 PM EDT2014-04-24 03:51:27 GMT
    The beloved owner of the Tim's Market on Ayers and Brownlee, 59-year-old Ben Mostafa, was remembered at a memorial service Wednesday evening. Mostafa was shot and killed in his store during a robbery back on April 14th.More >>
    The beloved owner of the Tim's Market on Ayers and Brownlee, 59-year-old Ben Mostafa, was remembered at a memorial service Wednesday evening. Mostafa was shot and killed in his store during a robbery back on April 14th.More >>
  • Services Held for Well-Known Businessman Benjamin Mustafa

    Services Held for Well-Known Businessman Benjamin Mustafa

    Family, friends and community members came together Wednesday evening to remember 59-year old Benjamin Mustafa, the victim of this city's latest homicide.A memorial was held for the beloved and well-known businessman, who was fatally shot last week at the Tim's Market on Ayers Street. Services took place at the Bay Area Fellowship on Rodd Field Road.Kiii News Reporter Bill Churchwell went Live from the memorial services with more information.To many, he was simply known as Ben, or Benjamin, a...More >>
    Family, friends and community members came together Wednesday evening to remember 59-year old Benjamin Mustafa, the victim of this city's latest homicide.A memorial was held for the beloved and well-known businessman, who was fatally shot last week at the Tim's Market on Ayers Street. Services took place at the Bay Area Fellowship on Rodd Field Road.Kiii News Reporter Bill Churchwell went Live from the memorial services with more information.To many, he was simply known as Ben, or Benjamin, a...More >>
  • Students Bound for Rome to Witness Canonization Ceremony

    Students Bound for Rome to Witness Canonization Ceremony

    Some lucky Coastal Bend residents, including students and teachers from John Paul II High School, are on their way to Rome to witness history.Pope John Paul II will be canonized on Sunday, and our own citizen reports from John Paul II High School will be there to watch. About 70 members of the community boarded buses Wednesday morning heading for Houston, where they will catch a plane to Rome.Pope John Paul II and Pope John the 23rd will be proclaimed saints at the ceremony at the Vatican Sun...More >>
    Some lucky Coastal Bend residents, including students and teachers from John Paul II High School, are on their way to Rome to witness history.Pope John Paul II will be canonized on Sunday, and our own citizen reports from John Paul II High School will be there to watch. About 70 members of the community boarded buses Wednesday morning heading for Houston, where they will catch a plane to Rome.Pope John Paul II and Pope John the 23rd will be proclaimed saints at the ceremony at the Vatican Sun...More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KIII. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.