Snow leopards are an endangered species with only 4,000 left in the wild. Dudley Zoo staff shot and killed their male snow leopard named Margaash. The 8-year-old leopard escaped his enclosure at the zoo when the keeper left the gate open. Sadly, the leopard paid the ultimate price.
Animal lovers are outraged over the tragic death of Margaash. The male snow leopard shared his enclosure with a 3-year-old female named Taïga, who now lives alone. Because of human error, the beautiful snow leopard lost his life.
People are upset because the staff did not try to sedate him, instead of killing him. He was only acting on instincts to escape a small enclosure. In the wild, snow leopards travel long distances and roam free, so naturally he went for the open gate.
A spokesperson for Dudley Zoo said: ‘Once keepers saw snow leopard Margaash outside, the animal escape procedure was implemented and managers were notified, while the firearms team managed the incident. At the time and in the subsequent weeks, the zoo’s prime focus has been to fully investigate what happened and carry out a stringent review of all zoo enclosure security.’
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‘The door to the enclosure was left open through keeper error which has resulted in a disciplinary investigation of those involved.’
People took to social media to voice their disgust with how the situation was handled. Many pointed out that the zoo was closed, so the general public was not in danger. Others mention that a tranquilizer gun would have stopped the leopard and saved his life.
Zoo Director Derek Grove said: ‘This was an incredibly sad incident and our staff are understandably heartbroken. Euthanasia is, and always will be, a last resort. Efforts to persuade Margaash to return to his enclosure failed.
‘As he was close to surrounding woodland and dark was approaching, the vet did not believe a tranquilizer dart was a safe option due to the amount of time the drug takes to work.
‘Safety of the public is always of paramount importance and our staff are highly experienced and rigorously trained.’
Andrea Powell is an animal enthusiast that resides in West Michigan. When not writing, she is exploring the great outdoors with her dogs and horses.
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