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JM | May 21, 2022

‘We would never’: Hope Zoo reacts to shocking lion-taunting video

Gavin Riley

Gavin Riley / Our Today

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Lucas and Jasmine, the happy lion couple and crowd favourites at Hope Zoo in St Andrew. (Photo: Facebook @HopeZooKingston)

Reacting tonight (May 21) to a video that has gone viral on social media, Hope Zoo in St Andrew has expressed its dismay at the appearance that a lion was being ‘prodded’ by an attendant at what is believed to be a zoo facility in Jamaica for merely entertainment/shock value.

At the same time, the non-profit zoo is dismissing any suggested connection to the man who lost his finger after the agitated lion attack. 

Hope Zoo took to Twitter to criticise the exploitative actions seen in the video as animal abuse. 

“The awful viral video of a lion being taunted by its keeper did NOT occur at #HopeZoo. We definitely do not condone the abuse of animals for the entertainment of guests,” the group tweeted. 

The tweet echoes the position put forward when Our Today contacted Hope Zoo for clarity earlier on Saturday, as the manager stressed that the incident had nothing to do with the facility.

 “We don’t abuse animals here.”

Attached to the statement was a 36-second video of ‘it’ lion couple Lucas and Jasmine interacting with patrons at Hope Zoo. 

WATCH:

Jamaica Zoo, the only other such facility on the island, has yet to respond to queries from Our Today on the matter, hours after the video first began circulating on social media. 

Calls to its offices, which Our Today was advised to contact for an official statement from the manager, went unanswered at both the 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm times expressed. 

Social media users are still up in arms over the video footage of an incident where a man had his right ring finger ripped off by a lion at what appears to be a zoo facility.

Horrific scenes of a man losing his finger to an enraged male lion at a Jamaican zoo as visitors unknowingly watch. (Photos taken from social media video | Twitter @OneciaG)

While gruesome in nature and consequence, there was no consensus of sympathy from Jamaicans on social media towards their injured countryman. 

From all indications, many felt the agitating of the lion was unnecessary and only made its actions towards the alleged attendant worse.

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