Jaguar escapes at New Orleans zoo, kills 6 animals

Audrey Hill
July 16, 2018

A jaguar escaped from its habitat and killed six animals at the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans on Saturday, causing the zoo to shut down for the day. Zoo officials said there were no human injuries, but four alpaca, one emu and one fox in nearby habitats were attacked and killed. Three other animals were injured in the violent spree and are being treated by zoo veterinarians, The Washington Post reported.

By 8:15 it had been spotted, tranquillised and returned to its enclosure by veterinary surgeons. The zoo said the jaguar was sedated and secured in its night house.

The zoo was closed Saturday but officials said it would reopen Sunday, with the exception of the jaguar habitat. The jaguar is housed in a location called the "Jaguar Jungle" which also houses the alpaca enclosure and other animals.

The zoo says that nothing will happen to Valerio, such as being put down, because "it was just doing what jaguars do".

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

"The animal care team is devastated by this tragic loss".

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"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 animal will not be euthanized, officials said.

The zoo acquired the alpacas in March from farms in Alabama and Mississippi.

Meet Valerio, our male jaguar!

"We receive inspections a few times a year from Association of Zoos and Aquariums since 1981", Forman said. "Certainly his behaviour wasn't out of the ordinary for that kind of an animal".

"This continues to be a sad time for the Audubon family", officials wrote.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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