The attack itself happened in a blink. One minute Johari, a 5-year-old lioness, was roaming the Dallas Zoo's Giants of the Savannah exhibit. The next she was pinned down by a male lion, his teeth digging into her jugular.
"She died very quickly, and there were no visible outward signs of trauma," the zoo wrote last night on its Facebook page. "The keepers immediately brought the other four lions off of the exhibit."
To the crowd of onlookers, the scene played out in slow-motion.
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"You could see this lion holding the other one down," zoo patron Michael Henshaw told NBC 5. "There was no blood, but it held her down for about 10 to 15 minutes til she was lifeless."
Zoo staffers are mourning the loss of Jo-Jo, as they called her. They describe her as "very playful, always one of the first to find new surprises in the habitat, like pumpkins or watermelons. She was sweet and loving with her sisters, and often could be found grooming them."
The killer's motive remains a mystery, but experts suspect it has something to do with lions being wild animals. These things happen.
Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.