Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Chinese police shoot dead a lioness on Anhui highway

Agence France-Presse in Beijing

Wednesday 9 September 2015 11.21 BSTLast modified on Wednesday 9 September 201511.49 BST

A lioness found prowling along a motorway in China after apparently jumping from a moving lorry has been shot dead by police, according to reports.

How the protected animal came to be on the road in Anhui, eastern Chinese, was not clear, but the illegal raising of endangered species is not unusual in China.

Officers took more than 20 shots to kill the lioness after deciding it would take too long to get a tranquilliser gun, reported the anhuinews.com portal on Wednesday.

The animal was thought to have jumped out of a loosely bolted cage on a lorry, and was knocked down by another truck and injured, it said. It walked towards a service area, and highway staff used vehicles to set up a roadblock.

“Maybe because she was tired or saw there were too many cars, the lion stopped and laid down,” the report cited Zhang Shuke, one of the staff, as saying.

The standoff lasted half an hour before police arrived and decided to shoot the animal “to protect people’s lives”, the report said. No one had claimed the lioness, it added, with officials suspecting its owner feared punishment for unauthorised possession of the protected animal.

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