13 March 2017
Over the past six months, there have been numerous incidents of animals escaping from zoos, including a red panda at Virginia Zoo; an orangutan at Chester Zoo; a gorilla at London Zoo; and a lion from Leipzig Zoo. Reports have emerged in the last couple of days of yet more animal escapes from zoos.
A cheetah is believed to have escaped from his enclosure at Port Lympne Wildlife Park in Kent, after being separated from his mother during feeding time. The Zoo’s ‘full escape procedure’ had to be put in place, with reports of families hiding in the gift shop and toilets. The animal was reportedly lured back into his cage using food. Port Lympne’s Animal Director was quoted as saying 'we have secured the enclosure’s perimeter fencing to ensure that the cheetah cannot climb out again.'
This incident follows just two days after reports in the media of an escaped bear in Germany being shot dead. The bear, believed to be polar-brown bear hybrid, escaped her enclosure at Osnabrück Zoo, leading to thousands of people being evacuated from the premises. Deemed to be a danger to public safety, she was fatally shot by Zoo authorities.
Born Free is particularly saddened by the killing of the bear at Osnabrück Zoo, and is repeating its call for a review of safety in zoos across the UK and Europe.