Lion vs. Zookeeper

By: Sophia Powell

On Sunday, January 30, a zookeeper was attacked and killed by a lion at a zoo in central Iran. Reports from bbc.com say that two lions that have both been at the zoo for multiple years, escaped their compound by pulling down a lever that opens the door. Soon after, their caregiver had gone to feed them their lunch through a feeding window when they were suffocated and mauled by the lions. The lions then wandered around the zoo for about two hours before they were caught by law enforcement. The 40-year-old zookeeper has been identified by his family name Esfandani. We still do not know what happened to the lions and if they are still alive. I found it kind of odd that the lions decided to attack the caregiver because they should be used to getting fed every day multiple times a day, which makes it uncanny that they would all of a sudden attack their caregiver. It is unclear if the zoo had visitors at the time. The incident is now being further investigated by the Iranian police. These kinds of things don’t normally happen in Iran. Most of the time they are blamed on poor emergency services and inadequate safety measures.

Since wild Lions aren’t normally used to human interaction, it is kind of normal for them to attack a human that they obviously don’t know because any kind of organisms around them can be potential prey. This behavior is present sometimes because the lion can feel threatened or irritated by humans, female lions attack because they feel that humans are a threat to their cubs. Since people  don’t have horns or fangs it can make it even easier to attack because it makes us less threatening. Every year, around 20 to 250 people suffer from Lion attacks globally.

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