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German zoo escape: Tigers, lions and jaguar thought to have fled later found inside their cages

A bear did escape and was shot dead

Samuel Osborne
Saturday 02 June 2018 13:37 BST
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Flooding in Lünebach where animals have escaped from the local zoo

Two lions, two tigers and a jaguar which were thought to have escaped from their enclosures after storms destroyed fences at a zoo in western Germany never actually left their cages, authorities have said.

Reports they had fled sparked a massive search by police, who warned local residents to stay indoors.

A large contingent of police and firefighters rushed to the Eifel Zoo in Luenebach, near Germany's borders with Luxembourg and Belgium.

A bear escaped from the 75-acre zoo grounds after flooding swept away the fencing for its enclosure.

It was later found in the rolling hills of the Eifel region and shot dead.

Hours later, however, authorities said the five big cats who were thought to be missing had been found inside their enclosures and had never actually fled.

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 from the zoo.

Flooding resulting from heavy rainfall was believed to have damaged the animals enclosures, allowing them to escape.

The mayor said authorities were establishing whether the animals could remain in their cages.

He said the zoo would take the animals to enclosures in another zoo if the damage was too severe.

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