A pair of lions caused panic at a passenger airport after breaking free from their enclosure.
The killer animals made the bid for escape on Sunday while in transit at Changi Airport in Singapore while being transported to an “overseas facility”, according to state newspaper The Straits Times.
One of them was even seen laying down relaxed on top of their crate after making a bid for freedom.
Singapore Airlines ('SIA') — who were handling the lions as part of a group of seven — had to urgently call in their veterinary and carnivore teams to deal with the situation.
After a tense "standoff" with staff, the lions were then sedated with a tranquilliser gun.
The animals are now recovering from the sedation, and are being looked after by the Mandai Wildlife Group.
SIA confirmed an investigation is underway, and said in a statement: "The immediate priority is the lions' well-being. SIA is working with Mandai Wildlife Group, which operates Singapore's only wildlife facility that is equipped to look after large carnivores, on this," SIA said.
Meanwhile, a spokesman from Mandai Wildlife Group told The Straits Times that it was necessary to tranquillise the pair so they could be safely transported.
They said: "The lions are being monitored. They will remain in our care for the time being and we remain in close contact with SIA on the matter."
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It emerged in August that a lion spotted strolling around the streets of Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh had been "deliberately released" by a disgruntled employee of the animal’s owner.
Zhai said his lion Hei Man, whose name roughly translates to "Dark Mind", had been let loose onto the city’s streets by a worker he had sacked for "fraudulent activity".
He told the Khmer Times that the sacked worker had conspired with some of his former colleagues to let the animal out in a bid to blackmail him.
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