UTICA, N.Y. -- A peacock at the Utica Zoo was killed in the lion exhibit Wednesday morning.
The staff says a white peacock, Merlin, was roaming the grounds and flew over the African lion exhibit around 10 a.m. when he was unable to escape, and ultimately was killed by a lion.
Zoo officials are saddened to lose a crowd favorite, saying Merlin often enjoyed window shopping at the gift shop, relaxing in the bamboo gardens, calling out to his friends from the treetops -- showing off his white plumage as an "unexpected souvenir for visitors."
The Utica Zoo says at no time were visitors, staff, or the public in harm's way, although they did have to act quickly to prevent potentially aggressive behavior amongst the lions.
Merlin was a beloved member of the zoo family, and they say he will be dearly missed.
- Peacock dies after Lion attack at Utica Zoo
- Syracuse zoo's female lion, last of triplets, dies at 18
- Utica Zoo Treats Dads
- Mug Club: Utica Zoo Eggstravaganza
- Utica Zoo hosts Easter Eggstravaganza
- Utica Brewfest 2018- Utica Zoo's biggest fundraiser
- Utica Zoo secures accreditation from Association of Zoos and Aquariums
- Utica Zoo celebrates National Hedgehog Day
- Utica Zoo welcomes visitors free of charge
- Newstalk: Utica Zoo on AZA accrediation