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Swedish zoo puts down new born lion cubs

TT/The Local · 3 Nov 2009, 11:03

Published: 03 Nov 2009 08:48 GMT+01:00
Updated: 03 Nov 2009 11:03 GMT+01:00

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“The mother pushed them away. We had no choice,” the zoo’s Bo Kjellsson told the Borås Tidning (BT) newspaper.

Lioness Karafi gave birth to the three cubs last Friday, delighting zoo staff and visitors. But the mother then failed to show any interest in the new born lions.

Karafi refused to nurse the new cubs, leaving them to themselves while she chose to spend time with the rest of the pride.

The newborns became weaker and weaker, and on Saturday zoo officials decided to put them down.

The option of bottle feeding the cubs was ruled out because doing so would have affected their behaviour for the rest of their lives, making it hard for them to live with the other lions.

“The cubs were fading away because the mother wasn’t interested in them, therefore we helped them over the threshold,” said Borås Zoo’s Carin Mortensen to TT.

Story continues below…

“It always hits you hard when you’re forced to put down newborn cubs, but we need to be professional. This happens in the wild and isn’t out of the ordinary.”

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:35 November 3, 2009 by sherkovic
NOOOO!!!!!!!! :-(
10:03 November 3, 2009 by peropaco
How cruel is that? How about thinking out of the box, you bloody fool? I am sure many zoo around the world would have loved to care for them? They cry foul when the other barbarians, the (Norwegians) shoot wolfs but they are no different. Yet, I am not surprised at all giving their behaviour towards rape and murder sentence
10:12 November 3, 2009 by mcg

an⋅es⋅the⋅tize  [uh-nes-thi-tahyz] Show IPA

-verb (used with object), -tized, -tiz⋅ing.

to render physically insensible, as by an anesthetic.

I suspect you mean; Animal euthanasia

(from the Greek meaning "good death") is the act of inducing humane death in an animal.[1] Euthanasia methods are designed to cause minimal pain and distress.
10:25 November 3, 2009 by Luckystrike
This is strange. Lions are considered a "vulnerable species" by the IUCN. You cant just kill three Lions if there are other options...As a animal fanatic, this makes me literally feel sick...
11:01 November 3, 2009 by ladyontop
This is just barbaric !
11:24 November 3, 2009 by mcg
I see thelocal slyly altered their text - no sidenote [edit noted, etc. - acknowledge change]- as expected on a credible news sites. That is basic journalistic 101.

"anesthetized" - to "put to sleep".
11:42 November 3, 2009 by Luckystrike
"Killed" would have been more appropriate.
11:49 November 3, 2009 by Tennin
They should have bottle fed them, and try to see if other zoos were able to care for the cubs or have a spot for them. What were they thinking!?!
11:59 November 3, 2009 by DavidtheNorseman
This is the madness that comes from wrong thinking. Mankind's purpose is to positively intervene on behalf of the natural world (as well as to worship God). When things go wrong for animals it's our job to fix it, not kill them....
12:16 November 3, 2009 by insect
Putting down the cubs should not have been an option. Havent they ever heard of animals adopting other animals??? They could have found another lioness to do the job (not necessarily in Sweden), they could sedate the mother and pump her milk, they could give the cubs milk and keep them seperate from the other lions, they could have taken them to one of the ranches in South Africa or Kenya that specifically deal with such situations. Cmon! These people just didnt want to go the extra mile which I must say was a very short mile given the resources they have. They should all be fired.
12:27 November 3, 2009 by localite
Is there a way to inform the Animal Rights committee about this hideous act? What a friggin lame excuse..."" "The mother pushed them away. We had no choice," the zoo's Bo Kjellsson told the Borås Tidning (BT) newspaper. ""

No choice??! Is Sweden the only country in the world to have a zoo??? Did they not even think of Kolmården at least?

Honestly what is happening to this country? A doctor does not administer medication to a 3 yr old toddler, no penalty for man who filmed naked children and yet they say "Sweden to tighten child pornography law"...Bunch of friggin hypocrites!!
12:29 November 3, 2009 by Luckystrike
I've sent the link to the IUCN, of course it's too late now, and not sure it will go anywhere, as in the IUCN taking any legal action.

I also notice, Borås Zoo have removed all telephone numbers from the website...
13:08 November 3, 2009 by peropaco
Borås Djurpark AB, Box 502, 503 13 Borås, Telefon: +4633-35 32 70, E-post: info@boraszoo.se
13:10 November 3, 2009 by Random Guy
It's a great idea to judge a country by sensationalist news writers articles. Yes, certainly. It's the best idea ever.
13:57 November 3, 2009 by Nemesis
This is twisted.

Should have given them to me, I would have reared them. I have the space in a walled of old estate garden.

They did not publicly ask for help. They are sick.

Lions are heavily reduced in numbers in the would. We do actually need more of them.

If it had been a crow, rat, cat or dog in Sweden, the government would probably have sent the army to assist.

The priorities in this case are very wrong.

Bottle fed lion cubs could have been raised. If the pride rejected them, they could have been raised seperately to form a new pride.

We need more lions, not less.

If they want to pracise Eugenics, they should start wiht themselves and there politicians.

This is screwed up.
14:18 November 3, 2009 by ysurf
Pathetic socialists.

Deny the right to live to 3 helpless animals? I hope the sh¤t comes flying at them. The se people definitely don't think outside the box let alone consider these actions to be cruel.

I hope i meet one these decision makers one day, they will see the inside of my fist in their box!
16:02 November 3, 2009 by BravoTango
Next thing it will be that people will 'put down' children when their mothers express no interest in breast feeding them.

How stupid of these people. These lion cubs may be different due to how they were fed, but to just kill them because of that is a stark testimony to the madness in our world.
19:25 November 3, 2009 by TJSmith
The e-mail address to The Swedish Zoo Association

19:34 November 3, 2009 by soultraveler3
What were those people thinking?! This is an outrage!

Zoos hand rear babies that have been rejected by their mothers all the time.

I hope the whole world hears about this and does something to make sure it never happens again.

Poor babies. :(
19:48 November 3, 2009 by Streja
Borås Djurpark is actually not as rish as you might think.
20:03 November 3, 2009 by soultraveler3
Here's a couple sites to check out and maybe send a message to if you're interested in making sure this kind of thing soesn't happen again. You can go to the contact us part on their pages and send an email. Who knows, it might help.

World association of zoos and aquariums


and also

World Wildlife Foundation (the Swedish chapter)

21:32 November 3, 2009 by Renfeh Hguh
What a lame arsed pathetic excuse to cover up a decision based on fiscal management.

Any zoo elsewhere in the world with tight budget constraints would seek public assistance, both in volunteers and donations to enable the cubs to be hand fed. Then if it is too much for them, there would be many zoos in Sweden or at least Europe who would be willing to take the cubs.

Borås Djurpark should be closed down as they clearly are in capable of operating as a professional zoo.
23:27 November 3, 2009 by Lunalover
Well in the first place why do you bring lions to such a cold climate. Take them back to Africa. I support the lioness that neglected them in protest of the harsh environment there were taken in. I was botn and lived amongst the lions in the savanna bushes of Africa. I have worked on a natural conservancy where we studied breeding and living patterns of different animals. I have been to Borås Zoo Park many times. The first time I saw them I thought there were pumped up statues. They ddnt resemble any lion character in them. Thats totally abuse. If it was we doing that in Africa, the whole world would be showering all sorts of insults. I have seen many tourists and even swedes who visit the zoo throwing biscuits pieces to lions. I mean its cruelity, just close the zoo park, all those who are keen to see lions should go see them in Africa. How would it be if I were to take bears to Africa, im sure the whole svenssons would PROTEST. In short written all those lions, elephants, zebras, camels to where they belong. Thumbs up to the LIONESS at the ZOO, job well done, you have shown the world that the zoo is not YOUR breeding place. They claim to know how to conserve animals, and call us poachers in Africa.
01:33 November 4, 2009 by Colonial Swede
You people are nuts. You don't get upset when our unborn children are killed.
02:01 November 4, 2009 by Random Guy
Everyone hates children so that's ok
08:28 November 4, 2009 by Luckystrike
" You people are nuts. You don't get upset when our unborn children are killed. "

"unborn" children are not a nearly endangered species
09:36 November 4, 2009 by karex

I fully agree with you, I would have taken them myself! I live in the countryside with plenty of space. I would have bottlefed them, stayed up all night nursing them if necessary.

A few years ago the white tigers in the Eskilstuna Zoo gave birth to cubs. First time this happens in captivity anywhere in the world. The mother didn't pay much attention to them, so the zoo employees took them home, one each and they were bottle fed and raised with dogs and cats and children until they were off the bottle, then taken back to the zoo. They are together with the other tigers now. They weren't attacked by the other tigers just because they were bottle-fed!

What's the problem with doing the same with lions? They should have announced something instead of sneaking around like this. I'm sure many people would show up wanting to take care of the cubs.

This news has ruined my day.
19:44 November 4, 2009 by Nemesis
@ Karex,

I feel the same.

It would not have been a problem for my family and I to rear them until old enough to be put back in with a pride.

Since this article was put up, I have ran this by friends. I know a zoo worker who has told me point blank the Zoo is talking bullshit. All they had to do was ask and another Zoo would have taken them, if not a sanctuary for definate.

This is beginning to come across to me as though the Zoo workers realised they may have to bottle feed for about two weeks until the cubs would be transported and could not be bothered. I really do hope that is not the case.

They are an endangered sopecies, so need our help.
22:08 November 4, 2009 by spy
Very sad, poor kitties.
22:12 November 4, 2009 by karex

How utterly cruel and selfish if this is true. I am so depressed over this whole matter, moreover because I live close by and wouldn't have thought twice to jump in the car to go pick them up.

I'm not an activist by nature, but this episode has managed to create in me an overwhelming urge to put up a huge banner in front of the zoo: "Murderers".
10:39 November 6, 2009 by FirstCrusade
I think this just shows that despite what they say, nanny state liberal types really don't value life, be it human or animal...

The government in Sweden couldn't possibly care less if a lion cub is put down or if a woman is raped and her throat cut by the immigrants they've decided to import to displace and replace the native Swede population.
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