‘Escaped’ big cats found in enclosures at German zoo
Five big cats that were feared missing after storms hit a zoo in western Germany never left their enclosures, it has emerged.
Local residents were advised to stay indoors after floods swept through the privately owned Eifel Zoo, leaving two lions, two tigers and a jaguar unaccounted for.
After the flood water receded, zoo keepers searched for the animals using drones and founded them still in their enclosures.
An escaped bear was shot dead, however, officials confirmed.
Andreas Kruppert, mayor of the municipality of Arzfeld, is quoted by the BBC as saying: “As a result of serious flooding the high water pressure on the gate [of the bear enclosure] meant that it gave way.
“As a result, and also in and effort to save itself from the rising water, the bear fled the enclosure on to the path. Emergency responders were already there and because the bear posed a serious threat to the people in the vicinity the bear sadly had to be shot.”
Flood damage to the zoo is still being assessed and the animals will be transferred to another zoo if necessary.