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A Jaguar Escaped In A Zoo And Killed Five Alpacas, An Emu, And Three Foxes

The big cat was then tranquilized and returned to its enclosure. No humans were hurt.

Last updated on July 16, 2018, at 12:51 p.m. ET

Posted on July 14, 2018, at 1:47 p.m. ET

A jaguar at the Audubon Zoo in 2012.
Darrell Miller/Flickr/Creative Commons / Via Flickr: darrellrhodesmiller

A jaguar at the Audubon Zoo in 2012.

An adult male jaguar escaped its enclosure Saturday and killed six animals and injured three others at the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans.

The cat was first reported missing from its enclosure at 7:20 a.m. ET, at which time the zoo was closed to the public. It was free for less than an hour, according to a statement from the Audubon Nature Institute.

Employees, including veterinary and security staff, located and tranquilized the jaguar and returned it to its "night house" by 8:15 a.m.

The animals killed by the jaguar on Saturday included four alpacas, one emu, and three fox, the Audubon Institute said in a statement Monday.

The zoo called the attacks a “tragic loss,” and said the animal care team is "devastated."

"Today is a difficult day for the Audubon family," they said in a statement.

A jaguar at the zoo in 2011.
Michael Hicks/Flickr/Creative Commons / Via Flickr: mikerhicks

A jaguar at the zoo in 2011.

No human injuries were reported.

The zoo said it would remain closed through Saturday, but would reopen Sunday.

Operated by the Audubon Nature Institute, the Audubon Zoo is located in uptown New Orleans and ranks "among the nation’s best zoos,” according to its website.

The zoo said it would conduct an investigation into how the jaguar escaped. In a statement Sunday, the organization said that keeper error was "not a factor" in the incident.

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