A Chinese zoo has shot dead a lion after it killed one of its keepers and escaped its enclosure.
The incident took place on May 17 in the eastern province of Shandong, at the Taian Tiger Mountain Park.
The 65-year-old keeper was cleaning the enclosure when the lion bit him on his shoulders and neck, authorities say. The man died later from his injuries.
Reports in Chinese media did not say how the lion managed to get out of its enclosure after the early morning attack.
Officials put up steel barriers at the park’s entrance, while zoo staff as well as visitors who had arrived for a morning swim in a pond in the park were evacuated.
Beijing Youth Daily quoted a police spokesman as saying they mobilized local officers as well as special forces to the park.
The spokesman said they cornered the lion by a wall within the zoo grounds, and shot it dead to “ensure the safety of park visitors”.
The park reopened for business in the afternoon.
The incident is currently the third most popular trending topic on the Chinese microblog network Weibo.
Many questioned if it was necessary to kill the lion and raised concerns about the safety and living conditions in zoos, which have been criticized by animal rights groups.
The Taian Tiger Mountain Park houses a range of animals including deer, pigs, camels and birds in wire cages. An undercover report by Iqilu.com last year found it was in “serious disrepair”.