New Orleans zoo reopens after loose jaguar incident

Rosemary Collier
July 16, 2018

It remains unclear how the animal escaped from its enclosure.

Audubon Zoo said the 3-year-old male jaguar, named Valero, was spotted outside his enclosure by a zoo employee around 7 a.m.

Officials with the Audubon Zoo have announced that a fifth alpaca has died following yesterday's attack by a jaguar.

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A jaguar escaped from a zoo in New Orleans early Saturday morning, killing six other animals before it was captured. As of Sunday afternoon, the zoo reported that five of the alpaca, two foxes, and the emu had all perished from their injuries.

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

The Audubon Zoo was closed as the zoo investigated the incident. The zoo will also be working with a child psychologist for Zoo campers so they can assist with helping parents and children cope with the incident. "Unfortunately, it was doing what jaguars do", Mr Burks said.

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A review and investigation will take place to determine how the jaguar escaped its habitat. The jaguar was quickly located inside the zoo, tranquilized and returned to its sleeping quarters. Zoo officials say inspections found that the roof was "compromised", and initial findings concluded keeper error was not a factor.

There will be grief counselors at the zoo Sunday morning for staff.

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