Jaguar escapes from enclosure at New Orleans zoo and kills 6 animals

WDSU in New Orleans reports that the Audubon Zoo is closed Saturday after an adult male jaguar reportedly escaped from its habitat and killed six animals.

Around 7:20 a.m. on Saturday morning, a male jaguar went rogue from his habitat and began making his way around the zoo's enclosures.

Valero attacked four alpacas, one emu and a fox. No humans were hurt. Close to an hour later, officials from the Audubon Zoo had been able to not only find him but capture him and return the animal back to its habitat. "The Zoo will be closed today, July 14 and will reopen tomorrow, July 15 at 10 a.m".

An "after action review" is taking place to determine how the killer cat got free. The jaguar apparently didn't eat any of the animals; the attacks were likely part of territorial aggression, Hamilton said.

This is not the first time a jaguar has escaped its enclosure at Audubon.

Officials say Valerio is one of two jaguars at the zoo, and is being held at a night house during the investigation.

Such breakdowns, experts have told The Washington Post, do not happen only at shoddy zoos with slapdash animal-care practices.

As well as grief counselors being on-site this morning for staff, we will be working with a child psychologist for our Zoo campers tomorrow to assist parents and children coping with this situation.

Our staff continues to mourn the loss of our animals.

"This is a sad day for the Audubon family including our staff, volunteers, supporters and our community". It is situated in Uptown New Orleans, between Audubon Park and the Mississippi River.

Vanessa Coleman