A Colorado wildlife sanctuary euthanised all 11 of its animals. The decision was taken to euthanise according to one of the sanctuary’s co-owners because county commissioners denied their request to relocate. Dr Joan Laub in a television interview said the animals had to be euthanised because of continuous flooding on the property which made conditions unsafe for the animals.
Not in the community’s interest to relocate
According to the television report, the Lion’s Gate Sanctuary euthanised 3 lions, 3 tigers and 5 bears on April 20th. Apparently, Elbert County Commissioners the previous week had voted in unison to deny the request by the sanctuary to move roughly 30 kilometres from its original site South-East of Denver. Grant Thayer a County Commissioner said the permit for the move was denied because the commission felt the communities best interest would be best served if it was denied.
The second time a request to move was turned down
This was the second time the commission denied the Lion’s Gat Sanctuary request to move. Previously the board turned down a request by the sanctuary in 2006. According to the report neighbours had been blocking the move, saying it was inappropriate for a rural community mostly known for its equine lifestyle. The neighbours said they worried about safety and claimed that the lions would probably at all times of day and night.
The owners of Lion’s Gate argued at the planning commission meeting in March that the animals in their care were aged and posed little threat. In terms of noise they said the two male lions living at the sanctuary roared perhaps once a day for a few seconds at a time. The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Department says its officials were aware of the mass euthanasia and the burial of all the animals that lived at the sanctuary but said no regulations were violated.
Animals could have found another home
Pat Craig who is founder of another Wildlife Sanctuary in Keenesberg which is the largest of its kind in Colorado with 450 animals under its care says he was surprised the owners of Lion’s Gate did not try to find another home for the animals.
“In this specific case with Lion’s Gate, they have so few animals, they would easily be able to place every animal with another wildlife sanctuary,” Craig said.” “I can guarantee you that a lot of organisations would be glad to help.”