A jaguar escaped from its habitat at the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans and killed six animals on Saturday morning.
During the escape, the zoo was closed, so there were no injuries to humans. He mauled four alpacas, one emu and one fox in nearby habitats before being sedated by a vet team almost an hour after his escape, the zoo said. "The zoo will be closed today, July 14 and will reopen tomorrow, July 15 at 10 a.m".
According to the zoo's website, jaguars are the largest felines in the Americas, and the third largest in the world, known for their powerful bite.
Audubon Zoo said the dead alpacas were called Noel, Micia, Alexandria and Lil Melody, the emu was called Elmo, and the fox was named Maggie Mae.
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The animal's escape remains under investigation. The zoo was closed to the public at the time of the escape. No animals or humans were injured in that escape.
Three other injured animals were being cared for.
"This is a sad day for the Audubon family including our staff, volunteers, supporters and our community".
In a statement, the zoo said: "The team responded immediately to the incident".
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"I wasn't especially scared because there are a lot of professionals here and they know what they're doing and I count on them to keep us safe", Jill Spriggs said.
The big cat was first reported missing at 7:20am, before the Audubon Zoo opened, officials said in a press release. In that time period, we've had over 100 million visitors to the zoo. "So, we have a responsibility to protect them". We've never had an incident like that before.
Such breakdowns, experts have told The Washington Post, do not happen only at shoddy zoos with slapdash animal-care practices.
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