A wildlife sanctuary near Agate euthanized 11 animals due to flooding concerns about a week after the Elbert County Board of Commissioners denied a permit request that would have let owners relocate the sanctuary.

A statement from Lion’s Gate Sanctuary says last Thursday it humanely euthanized three lions, three tigers and five bears. The statement from co-owner Dr. Joan Laub says the decision came after flooding on the property last week. Owners felt they had “no other option” to protect the animals’ safety.

Laub’s statement says multiple flooding incidents during the past two years prevented owners from reasonably caring for the animals at the sanctuary’s current location.

She and her partner Peter Winney requested a Use by Special Review permit to build a sanctuary on a 45-acre property near Elizabeth. Plans called for enclosures in an area outside of a flood plain.

On April 12 the board of commissioners denied the request. Commissioners had concerns about the owners’ emergency plan and the number of homes in the area of the proposed location. The board rejected a similar application in 2006.

Residents against the second relocation effort expressed concerns about escape risks. Sanctuary owners said the animals were all elderly and they would have finalized an emergency plan if their application received approval.

We’ve reached out to Elbert County officials for comment and will update this story if we hear back.