Lion incident at Colchester Zoo takes life of ‘much-loved’ Vulture


Colchester Zoo report Yatsey, a Eurasion Griffon Vulture was unfortunately killed in an incident on Sunday 4th February.

Yatsey was free flying during one of the zoo’s educational bird displays when he diverted from his usual course and landed on the netted roof above the lion’s enclosure.

In a statement published by Colchester Zoo, Keepers acted “quickly and effectively” to get the lions into their inside enclosure to “prevent them from causing further harm”.

Describing the event, a spokesperson for the zoo said: “Instinctively, one of the lioness’ caught Yatsey who sustained a puncture wound which looked treatable and keepers were confident he would pull through with treatment.

“However, following the situation Yatsey had experienced, on the journey to the vets Yatsey sadly passed away from shock.”


The netting used above the lion’s outdoor area is designed to stop birds from landing within the enclosure. The zoo report this is not designed as a security feature.

Colchester Zoo in Stanway confirm that at no point were the safety and security of the lion’s enclosure compromised and would like to thank visitors for their understanding and cooperation whilst keepers worked to retrieve Yatsey.

In a press statement, the management of the Zoo said: “Our thoughts are with Yatsey’s dedicated keepers whilst they are in mourning of their very sad loss. We would like to thank all those who have passed on their condolences and their support.”

Yatsey was 22 years old with what was described as a “big personality”, a “much-loved member of the displays team” who had been in the care of his keepers for 12 years.