AN MP has called for a criminal investigation after a lion died at a safari park dubbed Britain’s worst zoo.
Nero, four, was poisoned by barbiturates thought to have come from contaminated meat.
It happened last July at South Lakes Safari Zoo where 486 animals died in four years from January 2013, but the news has only just emerged.
The BBC was filming at the time in the park in Dalton-in-Furness, Cumbria. New bosses had invited them in to show the zoo was improving.
The zoo was previously in the news when it was fined £255,000 after keeper Sarah McClay, 24, was mauled to death by a tiger in May 2013.
MP John Woodcock said: “There should be criminal charges for the lion’s treatment. Someone has a case to answer.”
The shocking incidents – revealed as councillors refused the zoo's application to renew its licence – included a jaguar chewing off one of its paws, a rhino crushed to death and two snow leopard cubs found partially eaten in their enclosure.
A spokesman for the RSPCA said: "We are deeply concerned to hear about new revelations relating to the sad death of Nero the lion at the zoo and as a result, we will be investigating this further.
The zoo said it was deeply saddened by Nero’s death. A spokesman for the zoo said: "Safari Zoo were deeply saddened by the loss of our African Lion Nero, despite intensive care for 4 days and 4 nights from both the veterinary and animal care departments Nero sadly passed away.
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