The Lion’s Gate Wild Animal Sanctuary near Denver, Colorado euthanized all eleven of its animals after the Elbert County commissioners denied the refuge’s repeated request to move the wild animals to an 80 acre plot of land south of Elizabeth. Instead the animals were all killed on April 20 citing recurring flooding on the property deemed the conditions unsafe.
According to the Denver Post, Commissioner Grant Thayer said a unanimous vote denying the special-use permit to move the sanctuary was made because “it was felt the community impact would best be served.” A previous vote to move the facility was denied in 2006. According to local politics, housing wild animals was not appropriate in a area known for horses. Neighbors complained about lions roaring at night and the possibility of the wild animals escaping. Lion’s Gate owners, Joan Laub and Peter Winney, argued that the animals at the sanctuary were old and posed little risk. In addition they would erect a ten-foot high electrified fence. As to the lions roaring, the owners stated the two lions roared once a day and just for an insignificant amount of time. Still the special permit was denied and all of the animals were killed.
On Wednesday, the executive director of the Wildcat Sanctuary in Sandstone, Minnesota sent out a letter expressing “their hearts break knowing these were senseless deaths of animals that deserved so much more compassion.” The Denver Post reports Tammy Thies, executive director of the organization, stated they had accepted animals from Lion’s Gate in the past and euthanizing these animals this month was a “selfish move” that “had nothing to do with the welfare of the animals.”
(Photos of Elbert County euthanized wildlife via the Denver Post and Lion’s Gate Wild Animal Sanctuary)
Rest in peace; we all regret you had to die.
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