Jaguar enclosure's roof may have been 'compromised', Audubon Zoo officials say

Minnie NorrisJul 16, 2018

A tragedy at a zoo in New Orleans, Louisiana took place on Saturday morning after a jaguar escaped from its enclosure.

The animal escaped at around 7.20am (1.20pm United Kingdom time) Saturday morning before being captured, sedated and returned by the vet team an hour later, CBS News reports.

Valero managed to attack numerous fellow zoo animals, killing four alpaca, one emu, and one fox in adjacent habitats.

Kyle Burks, vice president and managing director for the zoo, said at a news conference that Valero was sedated by a team of veterinarians and the animal was returned and secured in his area. "We close the zoo today to help our team mourn".

"We are still investigating how this happened".

The incident occurred at 7:20 a.m. local time when Valerio, a 3-year-old jaguar, slipped out of its habitat.

It was not immediately clear how the animal got out of its enclosure and zoo officials said they were investigating.

In addition to the slain animals, three other injured animals were being cared for.

But he said staff were devastated about the killed animals. Our staff truly care about these animals, not just care for these animals.

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".

Officials say Valerio is one of two jaguars at the zoo, and is being held at a night house during the investigation.

Valerio was born at the San Diego Zoo in March 2015 and was moved to New Orleans in October 2017. Back in 2001, a 70-pound jaguar cub was on the loose for about 10 minutes before being captured with no injuries to humans or animals.

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