max temp: 21°C

min temp: 18°C


Ipswich family’s trip to Colchester Zoo turned into horror show as escaped vulture was attacked by lions

PUBLISHED: 17:05 04 February 2018 | UPDATED: 12:55 05 February 2018

One of the lions at Colchester Zoo. Picture: ELLIOTT FROST/CITIZENSIDE.COM

One of the lions at Colchester Zoo. Picture: ELLIOTT FROST/CITIZENSIDE.COM

(c) copyright citizenside.com

A trip to the zoo turned into a oddly traumatic ordeal today, after an Ipswich family witnessed lions attacking an escaped vulture to a chorus of screams from spectators.

The hole in the net above the lion enclosure. Picture: CONTRIBUTEDThe hole in the net above the lion enclosure. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

They had gone to Colchester Zoo today expecting a fun day out at the tourist attraction.

The shocked visitors said: “It’s a bit unbelievable, really. We were watching the falcon display and the trainer said, we’re going to have to try something different with the vulture today because the winds are blowing in a different direction.

“Obviously, the vulture didn’t do what they hoped it would do because it just carried on flying off and you could hear the trainer saying, ‘Where’s he going? Where’s he going?’

“I looked over and I could see that he had landed on the netting above the lion enclosure and got his feet caught and couldn’t seem to fly away.

“The next thing, a female lion just jumps up and grabs it and just rips it through the net. I could see it in her mouth.”

They said afterwards a hole in the netting where the bird of prey had been pulled through could clearly be seen.

UPDATE: Colchester Zoo gives ‘factually accurate’ account of vulture’s death

Another visitor said: “It was quite frightening because I couldn’t really see what was going on from where I was stood and I just heard all these screams, like really loud screaming.

“It’s a bit of a worrying sound to hear in a zoo and quite traumatic.

“I was trying to film the bird show so you can see that things don’t go to plan and then just hear all the screaming.”

The actions of the zookeepers, who cleared the area of visitors while the incident was handled, have been praised by those who were there.

An eye-witness said: “To be fair, they did really well.

“They were all straight over there when the screaming started and cleared out the area.

“Seemed like they were well trained in what to do if something like that should happen.

“I don’t think it was really their fault, just one of those things.

“But bit of a scary day out. I mean, I know it’s natural in the wild and all that, but I didn’t expect so much action at Colchester Zoo.”

The zoo was contacted, but no-one was available for comment.

Members of the public are being advised not to approach a Hollesley Bay prisoner, who has absconded.

A man was arrested on suspicion of drug driving after his vehicle was stopped due to way it was being driving.

An Ipswich woman will appear on Channel 5’s Blind Date TV show this Saturday in hope of finding love accompanied by her guinea pig.

Ipswich Borough Council leader DAVID ELLESMERE writes about what needs to happen to solve Britain’s housing crisis.

An army veteran from Colchester who lost both legs in a bomb blast in Afghanistan has become an ambassador for an independent road safety charity.

Campaigners are calling for more scrutiny of police after strip-searches more than doubled over six years in Suffolk.

From some special results to the birthday of Beano check out these five stories you may have missed this week.

The sale of household coal could be phased out and wet wood sales restricted in a bid to cut down on pollution from people lighting fireplaces in their homes.

The eighth annual One Big Multicultural Festival will be held on Sunday September 2 in Ipswich’s Alexandra Park.

A married couple from Suffolk will attempt to break the record for the fastest husband and wife crossing of the English channel to raise awareness of ocean plastic pollution.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Ipswich Star daily newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24