Escaped Jaguar Goes On Killing Spree at Audubon Zoo in New Orleans

Pat Wise
July 16, 2018

An escaped jaguar went on an hour-long killing spree in a zoo mauling to death six animals.

The big cat was first reported missing early Saturday (NZT Sunday) before the United States zoo opened, officials said, and less than an hour later it had been spotted, tranquilised and returned to its enclosure by veterinarians.

The jaguar killed four alpaca, an emu and a fox after escaping. No humans were hurt. The zoo will open to the public again today, however the jaguar habitat will remain closed.

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

This is not the first time a jaguar has escaped its enclosure at Audubon. We are still investigating, and no animals will be housed in this enclosure until the investigation and repairs are completed.

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The jaguar has been captured and sedated, according to WDSU. 'This is by far the biggest tragedy we've had'. "We have grief counsellors coming in to talk to staff to help them get through this". Our staff truly care about these animals, not just care for these animals.

"The animal care team is devastated by this tragic loss", a news release from the zoo says.

Ron Forman, the zoo's president and chief executive officer, said Saturday's series of attacks was the worst in the zoo's history but told the public the Audubon Zoo was still safe.

Valerio was born at the San Diego Zoo in March 2015 and was moved to New Orleans in October 2017. In 2001, a cub named Mulac escaped for about 10 minutes before he was brought down with a tranquilliser dart.

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