February 20 2012 at 10:34am
By ANNA COX
The Johannesburg Zoo lioness who killed an employee at a holding conservation farm at Parys in the Free State, has been granted a temporary reprieve. Photo: Reuters
Nyanga, the Johannesburg Zoo lioness who killed an employee at a holding conservation farm at Parys in the Free State, has been granted a temporary reprieve.
Following a huge public outcry over the announcement that she was to be put down – with a Facebook campaign having been launched – the zoo said the incident was still under investigation and a decision was yet to be taken.
Zoo spokeswoman Letta Madlala said that until a “scientific assessment on her behaviour” by internal City of Joburg staff and an independent investigation by the police was done, no action would be taken.
This is expected to take about a week, she said.
The lioness allegedly jumped at the throat of 63-year-old Joe Ramonetha, killing him instantly.
Ramonetha was feeding the 11-year-old lioness and cleaning out her enclosure at the time, Madlala said.
Ramonetha has worked for the zoo since 1970.
Madlala said Nyanga had been moved to Parys because she did not belong to any of the zoo’s three prides.
Initial investigations found that human error was to blame.
The zoo’s executive manager for education, Louise Gordon, said it appeared that the security gates had been left open.
- The Star