A zoo has killed nine healthy lion cubs over the last six decades because they ‘didn’t fit in’.
Borås Djurpark, in Sweden, put the young predators to sleep because they were unable to sell or move them.
Aggression within the pride was also becoming ‘too big’, so park officials could not keep them themselves.
Discussing the fates of the nine cubs, all of which have been killed between 2012 and 2018, park CEO Bo Kjellson said the zoo was forced to decide who to get rid of ‘and it had to be the cubs’.
Speaking to Swedish broadcaster SVT, he said: ‘I think that they were killed after two years. At that time we had already tried to sell or to relocate them at other zoos for a long time but, unfortunately, there were no zoos that could receive them.
‘When the aggression became too big in the group we had to remove some animals. And it had to be them.’
The nine cubs killed were named Potter, Weasley, Simba, Rafiki, Nala, Sarabi, Kiara, Kovu and Banzai, according to Espressen.
Simba, Rafiki, Nala and Sarabi were all killed in 2013, just over a year after being born.
Kiara, Banzai and Kovu died in 2015.
Two others, Potter and Weasley, were born into a litter of four in 2016.
The pair were named after Harry Potter characters, alongside their siblings Granger and Dolores.
Potter and Weasley were both killed, however the zoo re-homed Granger and Dolores – sending them to an unnamed zoo in the UK.
Kjellson said the killings are a ‘natural path’ and that it has to be done when ‘animals at the zoo do not fit into a group’.
He added: ‘It’s no secret in any way and we do not try to hide that we’re working this way.’