News & Opinion | July 16, 2018 10:28 am

Jaguar Escapes New Orleans Zoo Enclosure, Eats Neighboring Animals

“It was most likely a territorial situation," the zoo's doctor said during a press conference.

A jaguar in the New Orleans Audubon Zoo escaped its enclosure early Saturday morning, killing four alpacas, an emu and a fox, CBS News reports. An additional alpaca and a fox reportedly died the next day, and while it’s unclear how exactly the jaguar escaped, zoo officials told the media that the roof was “compromised.”

“Initial findings concluded that keeper error was not a factor,” CBS wrote, in part. “Zoo officials said keeper error was not a factor in the escape,” they added, citing a report from WWL.

The jaguar was subdued by a vet team and the zoo was closed on Saturday, reopening on Sunday. No people were hurt, and officials released a statement acknowledging how unfortunate the situation was.

“This continues to be a sad time for the Audubon family,” the officials wrote. “We appreciate the continued overwhelming support.”

CBS notes a Facebook post from January calling the jaguar, named Valerio, a “big lovable goofball.”

Maxim noted Dr. Frank Burks, the zoo’s vice president and managing director, said at a press conference that “it was most likely a territorial situation.”

“This behavior isn’t out of the ordinary for this kind of animal.”