Lions Escape Enclosure, Roam Freely Around Sydney Zoo

Five lions escaped their enclosure at the Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Australia, and forced guests to evacuate Wednesday morning, according to Reuters.

Security footage revealed that Ato, an adult male lion, and four lion cubs escaped their enclosure at 6:30 am in the morning, according to Reuters.

The lions began to roam freely outside their enclosure and an alarm known as a “code one” alert was sounded within 10 minutes of their escape, the outlet reported. Zoo officials promptly evacuated guests of the “Roar and Snore” overnight stay program from the premises.

Police eventually arrived and zoo keepers needed to tranquilize one cub, Reuters reported. The lions remained in an area outside of their enclosure but were separated from the rest of the zoo thanks to a six-foot fence over the duration of their escape.

Taronga Zoo Executive Director Simon Duffy told local media that the other four lions “calmly made their way back” to the enclosure out of their own accord, according to the BBC.

No injuries were reported following the escape and the zoo eventually opened as usual to the public later in the morning, according to Reuters. (RELATED: Woman Jumps Into Lion Enclosure At Bronx Zoo, Throws $100 Bills And Confesses Love To Lion)

Duffy highlighted the fact that the lions did not leave the zoo but called the escape a “significant incident,” the BBC reported. The zoo launched a formal review process to uncover the cause of the escape, according to Reuters.

Not all lion escapes end without injury, a lion mauled a 22-year-old woman to death after escaping an enclosure at a North Carolina zoo in 2018.

In 2021, an endangered tiger was shot and killed after he attacked a man who entered his enclosure at a zoo in Naples, Florida. Earlier this year an employee at a Ukrainian zoo successfully coaxed an escaped chimpanzee back into an enclosure.

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