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Merlin the beloved peacock is killed by a lion after flying into their enclosure in a New York zoo

The circle of life! Merlin the white peacock is killed by a LION after flying into a enclosure in a New York zoo in front of horrified home-schooled children on a trip

  • Utica Zoo said in the Facebook post that Merlin was captured by a lion Wednesday morning at approximately 10am after being unable to fly back out
  • Merlin came to the zoo in 2006 as an adult and spent his days roaming the grounds
  • The peacock was said to have enjoyed window shopping at the zoo’s gift shop and relaxing in bamboo gardens
  • He was also said to be a fan of calling his fellow peacocks from high up in treetops
  • Utica Zoo is home to over 200 animals and is based in the Roscoe Conkling Park 

A popular white peacock at an upstate New York zoo was killed by a lion after it flew over a fence into the African Lion enclosure.

Utica Zoo said in the Facebook post that Merlin was captured by a lion Wednesday morning at approximately 10am after being unable to fly back out of the exhibit.

‘By the time he had realized where he was he did make an attempt to fly out,’ said Mark Simon, the zoo’s marketing director. ‘And it seems that one of the lions may have swatted at him and hit him with his paw. And it seems he may have been knocked down at that point and it progressed from there.’

A group of home-schooled children and their parents saw the start of the attack but were moved away from the area. Zoo workers talked to the group afterward to help them process what they witnessed, Simon said.

Utica Zoo said in the Facebook post that Merlin was captured by a lion Wednesday morning at approximately 10am after being unable to fly back out

'Thanks to the staff's rapid response, the Lions were recalled into their inner holding to prevent potential aggressive behavior towards each other,' the zoo added in their post

‘Thanks to the staff’s rapid response, the Lions were recalled into their inner holding to prevent potential aggressive behavior towards each other,’ the zoo added in their post

‘Thanks to the staff’s rapid response, the Lions were recalled into their inner holding to prevent potential aggressive behavior towards each other,’ the zoo added in their post. 

Officials added that no visitors or staff were at risk of being put in harm’s way as the events took place in the habitat perimeter. 

Merlin came to the zoo in 2006 as an adult and spent his days roaming the grounds. 

The peacock was said to have enjoyed window shopping at the zoo’s gift shop and relaxing in bamboo gardens. Merlin was also said to be a fan of calling his fellow peacocks from high up in treetops. 

Merlin came to the zoo in 2006 as an adult and spent his days roaming the grounds

Merlin came to the zoo in 2006 as an adult and spent his days roaming the grounds

The peacock was said to have enjoyed window shopping at the zoo's gift shop and relaxing in bamboo gardens

He was also said to be a fan of calling his fellow peacocks from high up in treetops

The peacock was said to have enjoyed window shopping at the zoo’s gift shop and relaxing in bamboo gardens. He was also said to be a fan of calling his fellow peacocks from high up in treetops

The adventurous peacock was also said to frequent the Eagle View Pavillion at lunchtime to eat with zookeepers. 

‘He was a visitor favorite; displaying his pure white plumage for all to see,’ the zoo added. 

‘His distinct white feathers could be seen around the Zoo, providing an unexpected souvenir for visitors.’ 

Administrators say ‘Merlin will be dearly missed by everyone’ at the zoo. 

Utica Zoo is home to over 200 animals and is based in the Roscoe Conkling Park. 

Utica Zoo is home to over 200 animals and is based in the Roscoe Conkling Park

Utica Zoo is home to over 200 animals and is based in the Roscoe Conkling Park



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