Published: Sun, July 15, 2018
Research | By Jody Lindsey

Jaguar escapes habitat at Audubon Zoo in New Orleans, kills 6 animals

Jaguar escapes habitat at Audubon Zoo in New Orleans, kills 6 animals

Officials with the Audubon Zoo have announced that the zoo will be closed Saturday after a jaguar escaped its habitat and killed six other animals. Today is a hard day for the Audubon family.

Officials said there are protocols in place if an escape happened during hours where the zoo would have been open, and employees run drills multiple times a year to prepare for that situation.

The feline was first reported missing from its enclosure at 7:20 a.m. Saturday morning and was located, sedated and returned to the enclosure by 8:15 a.m., according to zoo officials. Four alpaca, an emu and a fox in nearby enclosures were killed by the jaguar. "This is by far the biggest incident, the biggest magnitude, the biggest tragedy we've had". The jaguar is housed in a location called the "Jaguar Jungle" which also houses the alpaca enclosure and other animals.

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The zoo is closed Saturday and will reopen at 10 a.m. Sunday. Burks said the zoo will investigate the incident, including how the jaguar got free.

Meet Valerio, our male jaguar! His care staff describe.

A few animals at Audubon have escaped over the years, including a 70-pound cub in 2001 and two monkeys in 2013, according to the Times-Picayune.

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