John Kelly's Washington

Deer vs. lion: The neighbors react

By John Kelly
Monday, November 9, 2009; 1:23 PM

A deer that jumped a wall at the National Zoo was fatally injured by two lions Sunday as dozens of startled spectators looked on.

-- The Washington Post, Nov. 9, 2009

Did I see it? Of course I saw it. Very disturbing, sir. Very disturbing. The lion's technique was all wrong. Paws when she should have used jaws; jaws when she should have used paws.

And did you see when the lion had the deer in her clutches and then let it get away? That showed a lack of focus. She should have bitten the creature's neck there and then, compressing the windpipe. But instead she looked away. Distracted by the crowd? Perhaps. But as I always say, when you are on the hunt you cannot afford to be distracted. Eye of the tiger, my friend. Eye of the tiger.

All in all, not a great day for the great cats, though I must note that this episode proves my point that lions are over-rated. "King of the jungle," indeed. "Overfed bureaucrat of the jungle" is more like it.

-- Tiger, one cage over

A deer, you ssssay? How big? Really? No, I missssed it, but then again I don't really travel in those circlesssss. I'd love a nice tassssty deer, though. Mmmmm. I'd hug him and pet him and ssssqueeze him . . .

-- Boa Constrictor, Reptile House

Dude! Did you see it? Heh heh. It was killer! So, this deer goes into the lion cage. I know! Crazy, right? Ha ha ha. And the lion's all "What's that? Is that a deer?" Heh heh heh. And the deer's all "Oh no! I'm in a lion cage!" Haw haw haw. And like the lion's all chasing the deer! But it can't catch it! And then it does catch it, but it gets away! Ho ho ho. And the deer is like swimming in this water. Hee hee hee. Oh man, I was seriously laughin' my tail off.

-- Spotted Hyena, African Savanna Exhibit

The following is a prepared statement from the Ungulate Liberation Front:

We at the ULF decry the recent tragic events at the National Zoo's Lion Compound. This episode raises several troubling questions:

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