Human Interest

Sydney zoo releases footage of lion family’s brief escape

Sydney, Australia, Dec 1 (EFE).- Sydney’s Taronga Zoo on Thursday released security camera footage showing how five lions – four cubs and one adult – escaped from their cage in November.

The escape lasted all of 10 minutes and did not result in injuries to the animals or anyone else.

The videos show lions in the distance playing with the metal fence that keeps them confined in an outdoor habitat, right before one of the cubs managed to get by the security system and slip underneath the fence through a hole.

The other cubs followed through the same opening until finally, Ato, an adult lion and father to the four cubs escaped similarly from the cage displayed to the public, leaving the mother Maya, and another cub, Ayanna behind.

After getting out, “the four other cubs and adult male lion appeared to remain calm and investigated the other side of the main containment fence, remaining within meters of their exhibit, before actively trying to find their way back under the fence,” when the lion Maya and keepers started calling for them, the zoo said in a press release.

In response to the call, Luzuko returned through the hole first, followed by Zuri and Khari, while the fourth cub, Malika, had to be tranquilized by the keepers.

The staff also managed to get the adult lion to return to his den, back with his pride, the zoo added.

Taronga Zoo said that the fencing system is still under investigation, due to which the apex predators will remain in an outdoor environment, removed from their main exhibition area until a little before Christmas.

The incident took place early morning on Nov 2, compelling the zoo to call for the emergency response team to capture the animals and protect the public. The local police of the area, on the northern bank of Sydney Harbour, was also deployed

During the incident, Taronga personnel requested people who were staying overnight at the zoo as part of the “Roar and Snore” program – which allows the public to observe nocturnal animals – to leave their belongings behind and get to safety.

The iconic Sydney zoo, spread over an area of twenty eight hectares, is home to more than 2,600 animals. EFE


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