Jaguar escapes from New Orleans zoo, kills 6 animals

  • Jaguar escapes from New Orleans zoo, kills 6 animals

Jaguar escapes from New Orleans zoo, kills 6 animals

A jaguar escaped from his habitat at the Audubon Zoo Saturday morning, killing six other animals before he was caught and sedated. A vet team captured and sedated the animal an hour later after it had mauled four alpacas, one emu and a fox.

The 58-acre zoo is 100 years old and houses 2,000 animals. "We close the zoo today to help our team mourn".

By 8:15 it had been spotted, tranquillised and returned to its enclosure by veterinary surgeons.

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.

The jaguar was safely secured in his night house.

But the incident was certain to raise questions about the dangers of caging apex, or top, predators that have evolved to hunt and kill, and will quickly pounce on prey animals - or humans - if safeguards break down. Zoo officials say inspections found that the roof was "compromised", but initial findings concluded that keeper error was not a factor.

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

"We care for these animals every day". Unfortunately, it was doing what jaguars do'.

The animal will not be euthanized, officials said.

Meet Valerio, our male jaguar!

The Audubon Zoo is in New Orleans. For WDSU's original story, see the attached link.

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".