Jaguar escapes from New Orleans zoo and kills six other animals

The Audubon Zoo in New Orleans closed on Saturday after a jaguar escaped and killed six animals before it was sedated.

Valerio, a three-year-old male jaguar, killed four alpacas, an emu and a fox - but no humans were injured in the incident. The zoo shut down for Saturday, with plans to reopen Sunday morning.

By 8:15 it had been spotted, tranquillised and returned to its enclosure by veterinary surgeons. According to the Washington Post, the 3-year-old jaguar named Valerio was engaged in a pure territorial display, as none of the animals it killed was devoured.

The animal escaped at around 7.20am (1.20pm United Kingdom time) Saturday morning before being captured, sedated and returned by the vet team an hour later, CBS News reports. The jaguar is housed in a location called the "Jaguar Jungle" which also houses the alpaca enclosure and other animals.

He added: 'Nothing's going to happen to the jaguar itself.

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Unfortunately, the damage had already been done in that short period of time that the jaguar was on the loose. We are still investigating, and no animals will be housed in this enclosure until the investigation and repairs are completed.

"He's a young male jaguar", Hamilton said".

The zoo acquired the alpacas in March from farms in Alabama and Mississippi.

"These accidents happen, you know, on some kind of a recurring basis around the world", said Doug Cress, chief executive of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums. "We care for these animals every day", the zoo's managing director, Kyle Burks, said Saturday at a press conference.

  • Douglas Reid