Escaped cougar tranquilized and returned to Czech zoo

By Ben Hooper Contact the Author   |   Aug. 1, 2017 at 1:04 PM
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Aug. 1 (UPI) -- A cougar that escaped from a zoo in the Czech Republic has been recaptured and returned to the park, police said.

Tomas Machac, head of Contact Zoopark in Zvole, near Prague, said the 7-month-old male mountain lion escaped late Sunday or early Monday after someone tampered with the animal's cage.

"Our neighbor saw the cougar outside when she walked her dog. The cougar ran away because it is afraid," the Prague Monitor quoted Machac as saying.

The zoo said in a Facebook post the cub, named Maxie, was returned to the zoo unharmed Tuesday morning.

Police said they located the puma and captured it using a tranquilizer.

The zoo said more information on Maxie's escape and recapture will be made available at a later time.

Alena Steffelova, spokeswoman for the Prague Zoo, said earlier the cougar would have been able to survive in the wild if it had not been recaptured. She said the area around Zvole is similar to the animal's natural North American habitat.

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