The Utica Zoo is mourning the death of Merlin.

The Zoo's beloved White Peacock passed away on Wednesday.

Merlin arrived at the Utica Zoo in 2006 as an adult and spent his days roaming the grounds of the Zoo.

Officials say while roaming the zoo this morning, Merlin flew over the perimeter fence of the African Lion exhibit and encountered the lions.

They say he was unable to fly out of the exhibit and was captured by a lion.

Thanks to the staff's rapid response, the Lions were recalled into their inner holding to prevent potential aggressive behavior towards each other. The Utica Zoo stresses that at no time were visitors, staff, or the general public placed into harm's way as all of the preceding events took place within the inner habitat perimeter fence.

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