On June 6, a fight broke out between the two lions, and Zulu bit Saskia, severing part of her spine. Due to the extent of her injury, veterinarians decided to euthanize Saskia.
"She was put to sleep after a fight broke out with other lions," Gary Gilmour, the manager of the safari park, told U.K. paper Metro. "She had a wound on her back and would have been X-rayed when seen by the vet. The lions all fight, including the females with each other, and it can be over anything."
But animal advocates are saying that Saskia's death was avoidable.
Susan Bass, a PR representative for Big Cat Rescue, a sanctuary in Florida, pointed out that Zulu was a newcomer, and this could cause social tensions among the captive lions.
"It is very dangerous to introduce adult big cats in captivity," Bass told The Dodo. "Lions thrown together by zoo officials and forced to live together do not automatically form a pride. This was a disaster waiting to happen."