Jaguar escapes enclosure, goes on animal killing spree

Jaguar escapes enclosure, goes on animal killing spree

The Audubon Zoo is investigating after a jaguar managed to escape its enclosure Saturday morning.

Officials said there are protocols in place if an escape happened during hours where the zoo would have been open, and employees run drills multiple times a year to prepare for that situation. Three other animals are being treated for injuries. Officials said the killings appeared to stem from territorial disputes. Vice President and General Curator Jack Hamilton said the jaguar was "doing what jaguars do". No animals or humans were injured in that escape.

The New Orleans zoo is now closed until 10 a.m. Sunday. "The animal care team is devastated by this tragic loss", Audubon Zoo Communications Specialist Frank Donze said.

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The big cat's enclosure is located in a part of the park called Jaguar Jungle, which is also home to a children's play area, as well as exhibits featuring bats, giant cave roaches, tarantulas and poison arrow frogs. After the capture of the jaguar, the zoo did decide to remain closed for the rest of Saturday.

Meet Valerio, our male jaguar!

A few animals at Audubon have escaped over the years, including a 70-pound cub in 2001 and two monkeys in 2013, according to the Times-Picayune.

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