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Jaguar wreaks havoc at New Orleans zoo after escaping habitat, kills numerous other zoo animals

A jaguar escaped his habitat at a New Orleans zoo on Saturday, killing six other zoo animals. (Image source: Getty creative)

The Audubon Zoo in New Orleans was forced to close on Saturday after a jaguar escaped its habitat and killed six other zoo animals.

What are the details?

Zoo officials said Valero, a 3-year-old male jaguar, escaped his habitat and was spotted by zoo personnel around 7:20 a.m. on Saturday, according to The Times-Picayune. The zoo had not yet opened for the day.

Valero attacked numerous fellow zoo animals, killing four alpaca, one emu, and one fox in adjacent habitats. One additional alpaca and two foxes were also injured in the incident, but survived and are being cared for by veterinarians, according to WDSU-TV.

The jaguar was eventually sedated by zoo staff via tranquilizer darts at 8:15 a.m. No humans were injured in the incident.

Zoo officials said it wasn't clear how Valero managed to escape his habitat. However, Kyle Burks, vice president and managing director of Audubon Zoo, said officials were investigating the incident, in addition to conducting an "after-action review."

"We take this situation very seriously and we're working to investigate everything that happened so we could prevent anything like this from happening again," he said, according to CNN.

Did the zoo open on Saturday?

No. It remained closed all day.

"We care for these animals every day. We closed the zoo today to help our team mourn," Burks said.

The zoo plans to re-open on Sunday, operating under its normal Sunday hours.

This story has been updated.

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