Man killed after 'trying to steal lion cub' from African zoo

Lions in a zoo - SAEED KHAN/AFP via Getty Images
Lions in a zoo - SAEED KHAN/AFP via Getty Images

A man has been mauled to death by a lion in Ghana after allegedly entering the zoo enclosure to steal a cub.

The man, believed to be in his forties, died from his injuries in the capital of Accra on Sunday.

He was spotted on the premises at around 12pm after climbing over the zoo's security fence.

The lion was in the enclosure with her two cubs when the incident happened. It is thought that the mother pounced on the man as soon as he entered the enclosure.

"The lions have cubs so if you come too close they may feel you are trying to take away their babies," Benito Owusu Bio, deputy minister for lands and natural resources, told reporters.

"We ask the public to desist from doing anything like this," he added.

The man’s body has been recovered and taken to a local morgue.

As of yet, the man’s exact motive for breaking and entering remains unconfirmed. The zoo stressed that there had been no escape and that lion and her cubs remained inside the enclosure.

"All facilities remain secure,” Mr Owusu Bio concluded.

Police said they were working alongside the zoo to investigate the incident.

The statement said: "After the necessary forensic examination of the scene, the body was removed and has been deposited at the Police Hospital morgue for preservation and autopsy.

"The police are working with the management of the zoo and the forestry commission to get to the bottom of this unfortunate incident."