Monday, 10 December, 2018

Jaguar escapes enclosure at New Orleans zoo, mauls six animals

Jaguar escapes enclosure at New Orleans zoo, mauls six animals Jaguar escapes enclosure at New Orleans zoo, mauls six animals
Gerardo Duncan | 15 July, 2018, 13:03

Staff members at a New Orleans zoo are grieving Saturday after a jaguar escaped its confines and killed six animals, the Times-Picayune reports.

The zoo plans to reopen Sunday, July 15 at 10 a.m., and counselors would be on hand for Audubon employees, officials said.

The jaguar killed four alpacas, one emu and a fox before a team of veterinarians managed to coral and sedate it, CNN reported. That was about an hour after he was first spotted roaming free early Saturday morning, before the zoo was open to the public.

The zoo's vice president, Joel Hamilton, went on to say that while the incident was heartbreaking, they will not put Valerio down because he "was doing what jaguars do".

No animals or humans were hurt in that incident.

It was not immediately clear how the animal escaped.

The news release from the Audubon Zoo called Saturday a "difficult day in the Audubon family" and said that the deaths of the animals were a "tragic loss". "This is by far the biggest incident, the biggest magnitude, the biggest tragedy we've had". We are offering grief counseling to our staff to ensure they are supported during this time.

An investigation will take place to determine how the jaguar escaped its enclosure.

"We're looking at every possible cause", Kyle Burks, the zoo's vice-president and managing director, said.

Forman insisted visitors should feel safe coming to the zoo.

"And it's because you're dealing with animals that, at their genetic core, are built differently than we might like them to be".

The zoo is inspected by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and was reaccredited last April.

"These animals belong to the public, they're part of nature", Forman said.

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