Jaguar escapes habitat at zoo in New Orleans, kills 6 animals

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A jaguar escaped from its habitat at the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans Saturday morning and killed six animals. (WDSU)

The Audubon Zoo in New Orleans is closed after a jaguar escaped its exhibit Saturday morning, attacking and killing six other animals, according to zoo officials.

Around 7:20 a.m., an adult male jaguar escaped its habitat, according to officials. Authorities say the zoo was closed to the public at the time of the escape.

Staff and security were able to sedate the jaguar by 8:15 a.m., but authorities said four alpaca, an emu, and a fox who were in nearby exhibits were attacked and did not survive. According to officials, no people were injured.

"The animal care team is devastated by this tragic loss," Audubon Zoo Communications Specialist Frank Donze said. "Today is a difficult day for the Audubon family. The Zoo will be closed today, July 14 and will reopen tomorrow, July 15 at 10 a.m."

This is not the first time a jaguar has escaped its enclosure at Audubon. In 2001, a 70-pound cub named Mulac got loose for about 10 minutes before he was brought down with a tranquilizer dart. No animals or humans were injured in that escape.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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