Visitors to a zoo in Australia risked getting more than they bargained for as not one but five lions managed to escape their enclosure.
The incident happened around 6:30am on Wednesday at Taronga Zoo in Sydney. News that the lions had left their assigned perch soon reached zoo authorities, prompting them to issue a “Code One” alert. Guests of her nighttime program “Roar and Snore” were taken to safety, Reuters reported.
The alarm was activated after cameras caught the animals – a male lion named Ato and four cubs – roaming outside their enclosure in the early hours. That area was separated from the rest of the zoo by a two-meter-tall fence, according to the outlet.
Zookeepers acted quickly and returned one cub to the enclosure after calming it down. The other four returned of their own accord. The zoo said its emergency response was initiated within 10 minutes of the lions’ escape from the main exhibit area.
According to local media reports, everyone was confirmed to be back inside by 9am. The zoo did not immediately disclose the reason for the escape and launched an investigation. No damage to animals or visitors has been reported.
“They came running into the tent area and said, ‘This is a Code One, come out of your tent and run, come now and leave your stuff,'” visitor Magnus Perri told local media as his family left the zoo.
“The zoo has very strict safety protocols for such an incident and immediate action was taken,” Taronga Zoo Executive Director Simon Duffy said during a news conference. Part of the fence and “grave marks” were examined after police arrived at the scene.
Later in the day, Taronga Zoo revealed that a shabby fence in the enclosure allowed the lions to escape. “An initial review of this morning’s incident has confirmed that an integrity issue with a security fence allowed five lions to temporarily leave their main enclosure,” the statement said, News.com.au reported.
“The lions are now in a holding area behind the house while a full review continues. A full report is now being prepared for the NSW Department of Primary Industries. Keepers and veterinarians report that all lions are doing well. Taronga Zoo remains open and is very grateful to its staff and community for their support today,” the zoo said.
In a similar incident, a Swedish zoo was partially closed after a king cobra named Sir Vas escaped from its enclosure. The zoo had housed king cobras for 15 years, but this one, which was only a few days old at the facility, found a way to escape.
https://www.ibtimes.com.au/visitors-asked-run-after-5-lions-escape-their-enclosure-zoo-1840522?utm_source=Public&utm_medium=Feed&utm_campaign=Distribution Visitors asked to “run” after 5 lions escaped from their enclosure at the zoo