Like many animal lovers, South African Junior Mlondobuzi asked: “Why must our animals suffer for our stupidity?”
Others asked why security staff didn’t tranquillise Shamba as he dragged away Hodge, the owner of Makarele Predator Centre, on Saturday.
Hodge himself said he was “devastated” his beloved big cat, who he raised from a little cub, was killed.
Animal lovers are comparing Shamba to Harambe the gorilla, who was shot dead after a boy got into his enclosure at Cincinnati zoo Mike Hodge is recovering in hospital after the horrifying attack at his wildlife sanctuary in northern South Africa
“So another beautiful lion is lost,” said Wendy Trent. “Killed for behaving according to his natural instinct.
“He was bred, caged and exploited for profit from birth by a greed-driven individual with a god-complex who thought that ‘his’ lion wouldn’t attack him.”
Jeanine Jordaan added: “You murdered an innocent being, due to human ego and error. Know your place, we are not the Kings of any jungles. You can never bring that Lion back!”
A zoo employee took the decision to shoot the primate for the three-year-old’s safety.
But it was claimed the gorilla, who turned 17 a few days before, was simply trying to protect him.
The expat, who hand-reared and bottle fed 10-year-old Shamba from birth, said they need to “take stock and decide what to do next”, according to the Times.
A source said: “They will be traumatised at the loss of Shamba but Mike is not the sort of person to showboat and he thought he was safe and that the lion was well away.
“Shamba would not move away to allow a rescue so there was little choice in the matter.”
Before the attack, Mike had put three chickens on a wire on the top of the cage to tempt Shamba to leap up and grab them.
The animal jumped on cue and devoured the meat as tourists took photos from just feet away.
After 20 minutes of watching the predator, the vehicle stopped by the exit gate while Shamba was lured away by a ranger, who can be seen in the video outside the perimeter fence.
“Mike gets out the vehicle and opens the gate when Shamba is safely far enough away.
“There was something on the ground that had attracted Shamba and he had sniffed at it and not moved away at once so when Mike got out he went to see what it was.”
“Shamba had never turned round before but this time he did and ran at Mike, who tried to get back through the cage door and into the vehicle but Shamba was too quick for him.
“He pulled him back out the vehicle and dragged him off up into the bushes” he said.
A ranger with a rifle fired a warning shot, which distracted Shamba, but the lion would not move far away enough from him to allow a safe rescue so a ranger had to shoot it.
She added: “Mike and one of his rangers were a little concerned about a smell in a compound that was upsetting one of the lions and had gone in through the gate to see what was causing it.
The Brit was inspecting the lion’s enclosure after noticing a strange smell, his friend has told The Sun Online Mike, who owns the wildlife park with his wife Chrissy, was rushed to a hospital three miles away
“It had put the lion on edge but when Mike went in the lion turned and came for him and he ran but couldn’t get through the gate quick enough and it had him.
“I do not know how badly hurt he is but he is a lovely guy and I wish him all the best.
“He is no fool around lions and knows how to interact with them but clearly something went wrong” she said.
Shamba was a 10-year-old lion which Mike Hodge hand-reared from birth The big cat drags the terrified Brit into the bush As witnesses scream for help, the lion paws at Mike who does not appear to be moving
Onlookers scream for help while the animal paws Mike, who does not appear to be moving.
The lion then drags him further into the bushes but then gunshots ring out and the lion is scared away.
But the predator remains near the victim while more shots are fired into the air.
One girl, who is watching the attack, is heard crying in horror as another man shouts for someone to “get a rifle.”
Her Facebook shows many happy pictures of her playing with predators from when they were cubs through to fully grown as her parents lions project grew from the Marakele Lion Sanctuary into the Marakele Predator Park.
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