Jaguar escapes zoo, killing trapped animals

Audubon Zoo

Audubon Zoo

A jaguar escaped its habitat at a zoo in New Orleans, the United States, and went on a killing rampage which left six other animals dead.

How the Audubon Zoo's 3-year-old jaguar got out at 7:20am is unclear, but it killed four alpaca, an emu, and a fox before being captured and returned to its night house about an hour later. No humans were hurt.

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

The zoo is expected to reopen to the public on Sunday.

An "after action review" is taking place to determine how the killer cat got free.

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

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

"This is by far the biggest incident we've had, the biggest magnitude, the biggest tragedy we've had", Ron Forman, head of the Audubon Nature Institute, said in a news conference. "Today is a hard day for the Audubon family", a statement from the Audobon Nature Institute said.

As well as grief counselors being on-site this morning for staff, we will be working with a child psychologist for our Zoo campers tomorrow to assist parents and children coping with this situation.

Hamilton added: "Our staff truly care about these animals, not just care for them". The zoo is in Uptown New Orleans between Audubon Park and the Mississippi River. In 2001, a cub named Mulac escaped for about 10 minutes before he was brought down with a tranquilliser dart.

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