Visitors at a German zoo were shocked to see a pride of lions eating the body of a zebra.
According to staff at the Duisburg Zoo, the zebra had been in one of the exhibits. The zebra was old and had become unwell. Zoo science director Jochen Reiter confirmed that the zebra was 24 years old and had to be put down due to his health.
Reiter cited animal rights rules that specify an animal in that condition should be euthanized. Instead of burying the animal’s corpse, the zoo decided to give the zebra's carcass to the lions.
“For predators, feeding them with whole bodies is the best from a nutrition psychology point of view,” Reiter said. “In the animal there’s everything: vitamins, innards, bones to scrape off tooth plaque. And it’s very fresh meat.”
In visitor photos, the lions can be seen happily eating away at the zebra. According to Reiter, the body will last the group of lions about two weeks.
Duisburg Zoo was opened in May 1934 and is one of the largest zoos in Germany.