Owner of sanctuary that euthanized 11 lions, tigers and bears cancels interview over death threats

ELBERT COUNTY, Colo. — The owner of the animal sanctuary that euthanized 11 large animals said she would speak on Facebook on Wednesday afternoon but ended up cancelling the appearance, saying she’d received death threats.

Joan Laub was scheduled to speak on a show called “The Animal View” at 1 p.m.

“Hear what really happened! For the first time since 11 lions, tigers and bears were euthanized at Lion’s Gate Sanctuary in Colorado, we will hear the other side of the story. Dr. Joan Laub, the owner of Lion’s Gate Sanctuary will be live on our show,” “The Animal View” said on Facebook.

Instead, the hosts read a statement from Laub, who said she was “profoundly grief stricken.”

“I can say that these animals were all loved,” the host quoted Laub as saying.

Last month, Lion’s Gate Sanctuary said it humanely put down five bears, three lions and three tigers.

Laub said it was done because of flooding on the property made it unsafe for the animals and the public.

Laub said the sanctuary near Agate tried to relocate to another 43-acre property near Elizabeth, but the board of commissioners denied a relocation permit.

RELATED: Lion’s Gate Sanctuary statement

Some people in the community called the decision to euthanize the animals “barbaric and cold.”

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Elbert County Sheriff’s Office said they are investigating the case.

“Special agents from the Service are working closely with investigators from the sheriff’s office to determine whether violations did or did not occur,” investigators said in a statement.