Knowsley Safari Park Answers Questions after Baboon Death

By on Monday, June 17, 2013

baboonKnowsley Safari Park has provided more information about yesterday’s incident, in which a baboon escaped the park and was shot dead by a gamekeeper.

The baboon had scaled an electric fence and left its enclosure on Sunday morning, after being chased by 20 other male baboons.

It eventually went outside the park, posing a danger to the public, and staff said they had no alternative but to shoot to kill.

According to the Liverpool Echo, Merseyside Police were called in after a member of the public spotted the primate on swings in the Mill Lane Playground, Knowsley Village.

From there, it was pursued into a nearby industrial estate, where it was shot.

At this point, a tranquiliser dart would have taken up to 20 minutes to take affect, due to the animal’s high adrenalin rate.

Critics on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook, however, questioned why it hadn’t been tranquilised before it left the park.

Twitter user @BreakoutEvents1, for example, tweeted to @PrescotOnline:

“Staff at the zoo tracked the baboon for almost two hours inside the Knowsley estate.” 2 hours they had to use tranquilizer!

@Amiee_Hampton tweeted:

Don’t understand why Knowsley Safari didn’t use a tranquiliser gun for the Baboon? An animal escapes so you just shoot it dead? #disgusting

On learning that tranquilisation would have taken too long to take effect, she replied:

no the problem is that a beautiful animal has been killed. It’s not the baboons fault it’s ‘home’ is in the middle of prescot

In a response on Facebook today, the Safari Park said staff had attempted to lead the baboon to an area where they could dart it safely. “This is always our preferred option,” they said.

The animal ran into dense woodland, however, where it was tracked for several miles. The location made darting “extremely difficult.”

Once the baboon got outside the perimeter fence, it became a public safety issue, and the gamekeeper shot to kill in accordance with an emergency plan agreed in advance with Knowsley Council.

The Safari Park thanked the public for showing support to their staff following the incident.


  1. John Doyle

    Monday, June 17, 2013 at 11:43 am

    Completely disregarding the morality of this incident, these guys are not going to just kill their property for the hell of it. Purely from a business point of view, it makes no sense. It’s a bad result all around and really is a shame, but these guys know what they’re doing and are not going to destroy their own property for no reason.

  2. Jacquie

    Monday, June 17, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    I can only imagine the consequences had they not taken this action…the report indicates the baboon was in a kids’ playground! Although it is a sad outcome I think if the baboon had attacked a member of the public there would be uproar. It’s a no-win situation all around.

  3. G mcmahon

    Tuesday, June 18, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    I’m sure if they could they would have darted the Baboon rather than kill it. I can just imagine the uproar had a child been hurt or even killed by the Baboon. They did what they had to do, end of.

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