Poor Johnny the lion. He escaped a sad life living in squalid conditions at a Romanian zoo, coming to Britain for a fresh start, only to be mauled to death and eaten by his less-than-welcoming pride.
Tragically, Johnny Junior was one of the 13 lions whose plight moved thousands of people to donate over £150,000 to bring him and 12 other lions back to the purpose built Lion Country at Yorkshire Wildlife Park.
A spokesman said the attack happened “without any prior warning."
“Staff managed to separate the lions within minutes of the fight starting and called them into the house, where the vet attended Johnny.
“Unfortunately, his injuries were such that there was no option but for him to be put to sleep. This was extremely distressing for the staff who have cared for 16 year old Johnny since he arrived in the UK in 2010 and especially as the whole episode was completely unprecedented and out of character for the pride.”
The spokesman said the incident was "extremely distressing" for the staff who have cared for 16 year old Johnny since he arrived in the UK in 2010.
"The whole episode was completely unprecedented and out of character for the pride."
Zoo-goers in Texas were left reeling late last year after they witnessed a male lion attack and kill a lioness. Officials were shocked by the lion attack at the Dallas Zoo, unable to explain why the male turned on 5-year-old lioness Johari.
While lions may be aggressive, they don't usually attack others in their pride.