3 min read

'Tired' Circus Lioness Shot 20 Times By Police

<p> <a href="https://www.facebook.com/AnimalDefenders/photos/a.169945149357.155327.75101244357/10154258309144358/?type=1&theater">Facebook/Animal Defenders International</a><span></span> </p>

A lioness appeared along a highway in China on Tuesday.

How she got there and where she came from was unclear, but one thing was certain: She was so far from the land where she belongs.

Even after the disoriented lioness lay down on the side of the road, people decided something drastic had to be done. "Maybe because she was tired or saw there were too many cars, the lion stopped and laid down," anhuinews.com reported, according to The Guardian.

After realizing they didn't have a tranquilizer gun with them, police fired their guns at her over 20 times.

Finally, the lioness was limp.

"We fired so many shots because we needed to be sure that it was dead," one police officer reportedly said.

She had escaped from a circus in Suzhou, China, some reports say, though the story is unclear. Some say she pried her way through barbed wire because she was aggressive, while others say the door of a vehicle transporting her wasn't properly secure.

The Daily Mail reports that a driver on the highway hit the lioness with his car, then called the police, who found her still alive. And they still shot her 20 times.

According to The Guardian, no one has officially claimed the lioness, another cruel casualty of an industry that seeks to profit from taking beautiful animals from where they belong.

Learn what you can do to stop circus suffering here.