Tapir briefly escapes enclosure at Florida zoo

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Feb. 28 (UPI) -- Zoo Miami in Florida confirmed a Malayan tapir briefly escaped from its enclosure Tuesday before being safely contained about an hour later.

The zoo said in a Facebook post that the adult male tapir jumped over a habitat barrier about 7:45 a.m. after apparently becoming spooked by nearby maintenance machinery.


"The breach was immediately reported via radio and protocols that have been established and practiced in accordance with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums guidelines were initialized," the post said.

Zoo officials wrote the tapir was contained in a secure area of the facility, where the Animal Health Team and Animal Science Team were able to tranquilize the animal and transport it to a secure holding space.

"The animal was never in any public area and never presented any threat to the general public," the zoo said. "It has since recovered in its holding facility where it will remain while staff assesses what modifications need to be made to the exhibit habitat in order to prevent a similar occurrence in the future."

The incident came less than a week after an Andean black bear escaped from its enclosure at the St. Louis Zoo in Missouri for the second time in a month. The bear was safely recaptured shortly after its Thursday escape and officials said they are researching methods of securing the animal's habitat.


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