Two antelope have been shot dead after escaping from a zoo run by the charity where Carrie Johnson works.
It is the latest controversy to hit the Port Lympne Safari Park in Kent, which belongs to the Aspinall Foundation where Mrs Johnson is director of communications.
The waterbucks were shot dead after breaking out of the park and onto a public footpath.
Two antelope have been shot dead after escaping from a zoo run by the charity where Carrie Johnson works. Pictured: Carrie Johnson (right) with Damian Aspinall of the Aspinall Foundation
Their deaths come months after the Daily Mail revealed how five animals escaped from the zoo last year. Among them was a spectacled bear – classed as a 'category one' dangerous animal.
The Charity Commission has also launched a statutory probe into the Aspinall Foundation and its sister organisation Howletts Wild Animal Trust over allegations of financial mismanagement.
A witness, who claimed they heard the gunshots, said: 'My family and I were walking [nearby] when we saw keepers with tranquiliser guns... We were told that they had to kill the animals and not to go one way because it would be upsetting to children.'
The waterbucks were shot dead after breaking out of the park and onto a public footpath (file image)
Others took to social media to express their distress, with one writing: 'This is awful - poor things... It's like shooting Bambi.' Another said the deaths were 'disgusting'.
A spokesman for Port Lympne said the decision to euthanise the antelope had to be made in the interest of public safety.
He said: 'After concerted attempts to get the animals back into their enclosure, it was deemed that, as a category one animal, they could become a danger to the public and the decision to euthanise them was made.' An internal investigation will take place in due course, he added.