BELGA (archief)

Lioness escapes at Planckendael Animal Park

The lioness that escaped from her enclosure at the Planckendael Animal Park near Mechelen (Antwerp Province) has been killed. The animal was roaming freely in the park. Police and the fire service attended the scene. Visitors were taken to safety inside the animal park’s shop and restaurant or were advised to remain in their cars. News of the death of the escaped lioness came at around 12:15. Efforts had been made all morning to try and catch the lioness.

With the end of the school year approaching there are a lot of schoolchildren at Planckendael on school trips.  

Caitlin, a pupil at the Busleyden Atheneum in Mechelen (Antwerp province) told VRT News that "We had only just arrived at the park and we were suddenly evacuated to the souvenir shop”. Caitlin and her friends are waiting in the souvenir shop with their teachers and some of the animal park’s guides.   

The third year pupils from the Sint-Joris primary school in Brussels were also due to visit Planckendael.

9-year-old Arthur told VRT News "We wanted to go to Planckendael, but we couldn’t. Our teacher told us that a lion had escaped. We then went with the bus to somewhere where we could stop and eat something”.

“I hope that they catch her quickly so we can go to Planckendael."

The lioness was shot dead after two attempts had been made to knock her out with a tranquiliser gun. 

The police are keen to stress that no one has been killed or injured by the escaped lion.