A lioness has been killed by Turkish zookeepers after two lions broke out of their cage and injured three people, including their handler who is in a critical condition in hospital.
The incident took place at Gaziantep Zoo, the country’s biggest zoo, located in the city of Gaziantep in the southern Turkish province of the same name on 15th July.
According to local media, a lioness escaped from her cage while zookeeper Cebrail K was feeding her.
He was attacked and badly bitten on the head and is reportedly in critical condition in hospital, however, the other two victims sustained non-life-threatening injuries and are also undergoing medical treatment.
Hospital officials confirmed that the zookeeper sustained a serious head injury in the incident, which saw another lion escape from the cage along with the lioness.
Zoo visitors fled to safety as the two lions roamed the grounds, with some filming the chaotic scenes.
According to reports, the aggressive lioness was killed by zookeepers while a search was carried out for the other big cat.
The lion was soon tracked down and safely returned to its cage, according to local media.
When the situation was under control, the zoo reopened and the cage of the killed lioness became somewhat of an attraction for visitors.
After the incident, Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality Secretary General Sezer Cihan visited the zoo to be briefed on the situation.
A similar incident took place at the zoo in October 2004 when handler Mehmet Kecibesler was attacked and killed by two tigers.