A female cheetah enjoyed a brief moment of freedom after escaping at the Dallas Zoo and remaining at large for more than six hours, prompting authorities to close the zoo and declare a “state of emergency”.
The missing female cheetah, Nova, aged between three and four years old, was sighted at 10am local time, prompting an “emergency” declaration and notification to all staff of the loss of the non-threatening animal.
The zoo said the big cat was finally found near its fenced home after police carried out a search using equipment with infrared inspection capabilities to look for hidden spots among the trees.
“We are pleased to announce that Nova, a female spotted cheetah, was found at the zoo this afternoon and was very close to her home and teams managed to protect her,” the zoo said in a statement posted on social media.
Harrison Edel, the zoo’s vice president of animal care and conservation, said at a previous press conference: “It poses no threat to humans.” He added that it was not known exactly when the female escaped, but it appeared to have escaped the fence surrounding the cage.
Spotted leopards, which are named for their cloud-like fur shapes, inhabit dense forests in the foothills of the Himalayas, Southeast Asia and southern China, and their numbers are decreasing in the wild.
Animals at the Dallas park have escaped their cages before, with the most famous escape taking place in 2004 when “Jabbar” the gorilla jumped a high fence for 40 minutes involving three people. Wounded, before being shot dead by the police. Jabari weighed 154 kilograms.
I am Ben Stock, a highly experienced professional with over 7 years of experience in the news industry. I specialize in market section writing and have published numerous high-quality articles on various topics under my name. My passion for journalism has helped me to develop an in-depth understanding of the industry, enabling me to stay up-to-date on all the latest trends and developments.