So this raises interesting ethical issues. See this BBC article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-36352593 A young man in Chile forcefully entered a lion pen, then stripped down, at a zoo in an apparent suicide bid. Zookeepers shot dead the two lions that were on the attack because they had 'no fast-activating tranquilisers' to hand. The zoo said it has a protocol which details prioritising human life at all costs. For the sake of discussion, try to set aside the fact that these animals were being held in captivity (we have a thread on the subject of zoos elsewhere). How do you feel about this? Personally, if they didn't have tranquillisers to hand, I do not think the zoo should have interfered. I say this not because I don't have empathy for the young man - perhaps he is mentally ill, perhaps he made a rational decision (we cannot know, and I am generally pro choice). However the fact that he chose such a violent end does suggest both illness and a lack of responsible awareness (perhaps a symptom of said aforementioned illness): it was a public act, and one that jeopardised the lives of other beings (in this case, the lions). The lions, however, responded healthily given their nature and captive state. A weaker, naked prey walks into their domain, to pounce is their more natural response. So we have two healthy lives, already captive, and one distressed human still able to exercise freedom of will. Is it so easy to say that his life was worth more? But I suppose we are not just talking about the young man's life, we must also consider the more 'innocent' onlookers no doubt visiting with their younger children. We must consider the trauma of watching the young man get mauled (which he still did before shots were fired, however he is being treated for his injuries now). I suppose, in the status quo, being privy to the pain of the man would be far more traumatic than watching the two lions die (we can assume the shots were a cleaner death, I think). The new question then becomes: are the lives of two lions worth more than the life of a suicidee and the psychological health of tens of onlookers (children and adults both)? Can we weigh a life against the psychological health of another? I don't think it is unhealthy to witness the might of other animals - too often we view them sedated, removed, caged, assuaged and bribed. This is a reminder that man is not all-powerful and I think that is a good thing to remember. If my children had been there that is what I would tell them - not to make them frightened, but to help teach them respect for other species. (And then I would probably have taken them home for vegan ice cream and a good hug.) This is a very complex situation even though one's gut reaction might, instantly, sway opinion one way or the other. I care deeply about the psychological health of others, but I simply care about the overall existence of life more. At the end of it all, two lives were lost instead of one or none. However I am approaching this from an animist's perspective. I entirely accept and respect the fact that not all might share my opinion - as I said, this is a very complex ethical quandary. If zoos are to exist I think it is wholly irresponsible not to carry fast-acting tranquillisers in readiness for circumstances such as this. I hope that this will teach said zoo, and others, a lesson in preparation.