Lions, tigers, a jaguar and a bear escape German zoo

Theresa Obrien
June 1, 2018

Five risky big cats - two lions, two tigers and a jaguar - which escaped their enclosures in a flooded German zoo on Friday are reportedly back "in their cages".

The zoo, which was established in 1965 with only dogs, donkeys and a wild boar, is home to almost 400 animals and is visited by 70,000 people a year, its website says.

Andreas Kruppert, the mayor of the town of Arzfeld, said the confusion arose because volunteers using a drone were unable to find the carnivores, prompting fears they had all escaped the zoo in Luenebach, near Germany's borders with Luxembourg and Belgium.

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A large search operation was carried out, involving the fire services, the police and veterinarians, the spokesman said. Residents in the area have been advised to stay indoors while a hunt is under way for the big cats.

Part of a local motorway had been blocked off due to high waters, and a train was derailed although no injuries were reported. It is home to some 400 animals, including around 60 exotic and native animals, according to Eifel Zoo's site.

This June 2016 image shows lion Malor (behind) and the mother Lira in their enclosure in the Eifel Zoo, eastern Germany. One was captured, the other shot dead.

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