Two lions, two tigers, a jaguar and a bear have escaped from a German zoo after their enclosures were damaged during a recent bout of stormy weather.
The animals broke out of a zoo in Lünebach, close to the borders of Luxembourg and Belgium. Police are urging those who live within the vicinity to remain indoors with their window and doors shut while teams of emergency services track the animals down.
The bear, which also broke out from the privately owned Eifel Zoo, has since been shot. The circumstances which led to the bear’s death are as of yet unknown.
Police and firefighters are currently scouring the hilly region; frantically searching for the escaped animals. Professional vets are also said to be on hand at the scene.
Severe weather destroyed some enclosures, hence the animals escaping. Sadly a bear that had fled has been killed already.
— Anja (@ankasi78) June 1, 2018
Western Germany has been struck with by heavy thunderstorms during the past few days, with humid heat spreading throughout the country.
It is believed the big cats were able to escape after a flood which caused a river to overflow, wearing down the fences which kept the predators contained. The floodwater reportedly pulled the earth away from beneath the enclosures.
According to The Telegraph, Police in nearby Trier informed the Associated Press how the escaped animals were thought to be still roaming the 30 hectare (74-acre) grounds of the zoo site.
Local residents have been advised to contact the police immediately if they spot any of these dangerous animals.
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Established back in 1965, the Eifel Zoo began modestly, housing only dogs, donkeys and a wild boar.
Now, it contains around 400 animals, including Siberian tigers and lions. According to the zoo’s website, the attraction is visited by approximately 70,000 people per year.
The zoo – which is owned by the Wallpott family – gives the following description on its website:
Unique sights, fascinating moments; when the lions roar, the Wapitihirsche tubes and the Emus drums, is the feeling of the wilderness felt …
They just saying in the news here on TV , that they thinking the animals are still inside the zoo and persons with tranquilliser guns searching after them. I realy hope they will not kill them like the poor bear #eifel #zoo
— hd (@cridheone) June 1, 2018
— janeausten123 (@janeausten123) June 1, 2018
This incident has occurred just two years after a similar incident when two male lions escaped from their cages at the Leipzig zoo in eastern Germany.
Majo and Motshegetsi were later found in undergrowth and were seen to be in an agitated state, according to the BBC.
Zookeepers were able to lead Majo back to his enclosure, however Motshegetsi was shot and killed after failed attempts were made to tranquillise him.
Director of Leipzig zoo Joerg Junhold told reporters:
This is a very, very sad ending, which I really would not have wished for,
But in this case personal safety had to take priority.
— Julie Anne Stacey (@poppet2909) June 1, 2018
Update: the animals in question from Eifel Zoo have now reportedly been recaptured after a search which involved the use of drones.
According to Deutsche Welle, authorities have said the animals are back ‘in their enclosure’. Officials are now reportedly checking the eroded fence.
It has not been reported whether or not the animals had to be sedated after they were recaptured.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.