Published: Mon, July 16, 2018
Sci-tech | By Lila Blake

Jaguar kills eight other animals after escaping from zoo enclosure

Jaguar kills eight other animals after escaping from zoo enclosure

A jaguar has killed eight animals after it escaped its zoo enclosure and went on a almost hour-long killing spree.

The 3-year-old male cat, Valerio, reportedly escaped his enclosure around 7:20 a.m. Saturday, before the zoo was opened to the public for the day.

Unfortunately, four alpaca, an emu and a fox were attacked and killed by the jaguar.

The Audubon Zoo in New Orleans was closed Saturday after a jaguar escaped its enclosure and went on a rampage that resulted in the deaths of eight other animals. The alpaca that died overnight Sunday was the zoo's last living alpaca.

A third fox was also injured.

No explanation has been given for the jaguar's escape, but the zoo said an "after-action review" is taking place, as well as an investigation into how the jaguar escaped.

"We are certainly not going to euthanize the animal over this", said Joel Hamilton, vice president and general curator for the zoo.

No people were hurt and the zoo was reopened Sunday.

Zoo officials said keeper error was not a factor in the escape.

The zoo says that nothing will happen to Valerio, such as being put down, because "it was just doing what jaguars do". The jaguar was quickly located inside the zoo, tranquilized and returned to its sleeping quarters. The female, named Ix Chel, was safe in a separate indoor habitat during the incident.

The zoo has brought in grief counsellors and a child psychologist for staff and visitors who may have been affected.

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