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

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

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

The Audubon Zoo in New Orleans is closed after a jaguar escaped its exhibit Saturday morning and attacked and killed six other animals, according to zoo officials.

The zoo said it plans to investigate how the escape happened.

Valero attacked four alpacas, one emu and a fox.

The zoo posted on social media that it would be closed on Saturday and reopen on Sunday.

The jaguar, a 3-year-old named Valerio, did not appear to be eating the animals it went after but rather was engaged in a territorial display, said Kyle Burks, the zoo's vice-president and managing director. No animals or humans were injured in that escape. "The animal care team is devastated by this tragic loss", Audubon Zoo Communications Specialist Frank Donze said.

Three other injured animals were being cared for. Close to an hour later, officials from the Audubon Zoo had been able to not only find him but capture him and return the animal back to its habitat.

The zoo is to remain closed for the day due to the risky situation from Saturday morning.

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In 2016, zookeeper Stacey Konwiser, 38, was killed while preparing the "night house" at the Palm Beach Zoo.

He was doing what jaguars do.

The animal will not be euthanized, officials said. Officials believe it's the most serious incident the zoo has experienced in its 100-year history. "So, we have a responsibility to protect them".

"Certainly his behaviour wasn't out of the ordinary for that kind of an animal, and he's just a normal jaguar as far as we are concerned."

While it has not happened in quite a long time, the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans is not a stranger to an escaped jaguar.

Forman insisted visitors should feel safe coming to the zoo.

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