Deer Jumps in Lion Den at National Zoo

This is truly an insane video. Thanks to a reader for sending. Sadly NBC Washington writes:

“Zoo police cleared visitors from the area and the zoo’s vet staff went in, sedated the deer and took it to an animal hospital. Its injuries were too serious though and several hours later, after being examined by Zoo experts, the deer was put to sleep.”

34 Comment

  • Tragedy – like dropping your cheesesteak on the floor.

  • what the heck is wrong with you ? maybe a warning about the graphic nature of the video would have been fair and/or appropriate..sadly,or shall i say tragicaly you, unlike the above mentioned cheesesteak are still sitting upright at your computer with an ever growing ego and diminished good taste. a cheap provacteur. please make my monday complete and post a black man with an empty bottle next to him and then make a weak minded plea ..after about 100 racist comments, for us to make nice. good night dark prince


  • Even if the Lionesses had caught the deer, the Zoo wouldn’t have allowed them to eat it — might be carrying diseases, viruses, or parasites that could hurt them.

    It’s just as well that they didn’t kill it. They seemed a bit at a loss for what to do after instinctually pinning it down. If they learn to kill anything living thing that falls in their enclosure and runs away, they’ll be more likely to attack kids or idiots who fall in and/or their keepers. That’s not to say lions belong in a zoo anyway.

  • and sadly it died?

    i hope this launches a nice debate about factory farming and veganism.

  • You have to be a special type of clueless to think that a video titled “Deer Jumps in Lion Den at National Zoo” needs a disclaimer that there might be an interaction between a lion and a deer that is less than friendly.

  • Lions have an instintual prey drive. If anything flees from the cat, it will instintually chase it. Pet house cats do the same thing. I don’t see a big deal here. Taking the deer away from the cat was smart as the Ray Swore notes. The zoo did assess the animal and decided it’s wounds were fatal and put the animal down, again a smart thing. The bigger question is what is the city/USPS/Smithsonian going to do about the deer population. It is amazing that it is so large that a deer flees people into a lions den.

  • Man, I was at the zoo and missed that by about 1/2 hour or so. Instead, I was up at the bird house trying to find the kiwi. Has anyone ever seen that bird?

  • Sigh…I suspect had the poor thing fallen in a lion enclosure in any other Zoo in the country it would have lived, but here at NZP, they can’t even keep their own animals alive….

  • I regularly run through the zoo early in the morning (around 6:30 or so) and see deer there all the time. Sometimes they’re just walking along the brick path, sometimes they’re grazing. I’ve never seen one inside of one of the animal enclosures, though.

  • Me at 7:40 am,

    I agree. We really need a debate on factory farming.
    PoP, how about some investigative journalism here?

  • I can haz deer burger?

  • I don’t get it. What does a deer jumping into a lion’s den have to do with factory farming? I’m pretty sure the deer was grass-fed.

  • inmtpl Says:
    “maybe a warning about the graphic nature of the video would have been fair and/or appropriate”

    What the heck did you think the video was going to show with a title like: “Deer Jumps in Lion Den at National Zoo” The lion making the deer pancakes?

  • dcdude Says:
    I don’t get it. What does a deer jumping into a lion’s den have to do with factory farming? I’m pretty sure the deer was grass-fed.

    Nature is cruel… eat meat? I dunno

  • I was at the zoo yesterday, and must have just missed this! Just as well… my child is too young to understand and appreciate predation.

    Any other zoo-goers notice the number of mice in the small mammal house? I wondered if they were some rare asian leaping mice or something that just happened to look exactly like our local ones. But no. The volunteer told me “that’s fall in DC for you… they just come inside.” I find it endlessly amusing that the National Zoo has a rodent problem. Also, what a great life for a mouse! A steady 78 degrees, no predators, good food, stimulating habitat…

  • Nature is nature. It’s pointless to try to impose human morality on a wild animal. Yes, we as humans with the capability for moral thought have a responsibility to behave in moral ways, but lions kill to survive. It’s how they’re wired. Wouldn’t it be just as cruel to let the lion starve?

  • “A child is too young to understand predation?” Are you kidding? I remember watching Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom as a 6 year old. I vividly recall seeing the lions chowing on the zebras, faces covered with blood. I don’t think I am emotionally scarred.

  • Steve,

    Why would the US Postal Service be involved in deer population management? /snark

    Just teasing, of course, but I assume you mean the NPS (National Park Service).

  • I said “MY child is too young to understand and appreciate predation”. She is two. She cries and hides behind the curtains when her dad and I play-wrestle. So no. I am not kidding. But thanks for checking.

  • This is clearly the result of the downturn in Cleveland Park. The deer have nowhere else to go. When is the DC Council going to do something for the City’s deer population?

  • How did mommy and daddy explain this?

  • Vonstallin

    play wrestle…is that what they call it nowadays?
    Lol j/k

    I bet that fawn didn’t expect such a drop after it jump over the rails…. must have hit the water first then walk up to the land mass.

    I use to work at the Zoo from 1990 to 1991. Its fun and i tell you, some of the things that goes on and never make it to the news is astounding.

    Fun place to work tho.

  • Vonstallin, I SO saw that coming! 🙂

    Let’s have some of those zoo stories of yours. I would love to volunteer there someday.

  • i mentioned factory farming because someone said it was sad that a doe died because of a scrap with a lion.

    it was meant to be sarcastic and or a dig.

    its also funny how we say its sad about the doe but nevermind that the lion is trapped out of climate in a tiny little pen cooped up so we can leer at them.

    so its sad that a doe gets wacked by lion in the middle of north america while human beings gawk while eating hot dogs and hamburgers from factory farms where animals are hung upside down and have their throats slit.

  • It would have been more merciful for the deer if the lion had done what it was supposed to do. From the video it just didn’t seem hungry enough to do more than play, and that resulted in a bad situation.

  • Further evidence that if my cat was larger, he would try to eat me.

  • VOR – are we as a community all responsible for this too?

  • i was rooting for the lion, he never gets to catch anything and it shows :/Dang.
    & haha at deer pancakes!

  • Venison is a delicious type of meat. I can’t imagine how tasty this very young venison might have been.

  • Grumpy, that’s why your cat rubs around your ankles at the top of the stairs– hoping you’ll fall and break your neck. I love cats. So unapologetic about their nature.

  • It’s rutting season and the deer go extra stupid.

    Coming home on Arkansas two weeks ago, I was behind a car that hit a deer and broke its leg. Now that was graphic. I imagine it starved to death if the park people didn’t shoot it first.

    Not that I like the idea, but sooner or later, the city’s deer will be culled. And while I don’t want to spend DC taxes to bus them out (to the hunters can have a go at them) or sterilizing them, if the animal friends people want to raise money, more power to them.

  • Always carry a good knife in the car – you can slice the tenderloins off a fresh road-kill deer pretty easily.

  • Vonstallin, on with it…. just a teaser, storytime.

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