According to a statement from the Toronto Zoo released last Friday, popular animal attraction “Sad Frank,” purportedly the “world’s saddest lion”, was, at long last, granted sweet release from the pain and misery of his mortal life.
“We’re sure going to miss that old guy,” said zookeeper Stephen Minor. “There was nothing like coming into work on a dreary Monday morning and seeing the forlorn expression on Frank’s mug to remind yourself that you don’t have it so bad.”
Staff veterinarians administered a dose of euthanization solution in the early morning, before visitors were admitted into the zoo. The event was considered by many involved to be, in many senses, assisted suicide.
“We find that many of our animals are actually happier once they’ve been euthanized” explained chief feline veterinary Charles Thurman. “With Sad Frank in particular, we’re very confident that were he still alive, he’d be very appreciative. He was always so miserable, it was clear he hated being in this zoo. We wanted to keep him, as his species is pretty endangered due to poaching and habitat loss, but we figured in this case, lions would just have to take one for the team.”
The killing of Sad Frank, normally a hot-button issue for such groups, also appealed to animal rights activists.
“We’ve been calling for animals like Frank the lion to be set free for years,” said PETA spokesperson Leslie Carmichael. “We at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals believe that animals have rights, just like humans, and that includes the right to die. There’s no reason assisted suicide should be a privilege exclusively given to humans. Besides, he was 14 years old. Most lions of his species live about 20 years, so he reached well over 50%. I’d say he’s earned his release.”
In the first post-Larry week in the last decade and a half, spokespeople for the Toronto Zoo are planning an advertising campaign for other attractions, such as the tarantula petting zoo, the horny chimpanzee cage, and a wall-sized mirror.