Cheetah briefly escapes enclosure at Omaha zoo

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March 1 (UPI) -- Officials at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium confirmed a cheetah briefly escaped from its enclosure, but was behind a public barrier at all times.

The zoo said in a Facebook post that the facility's emergency protocols were activated when the cheetah was seen outside of its primary enclosure, but behind a public barrier, in the Scott African Grasslands area.


Zoo visitors, students and employees were taken to secure locations and a lockdown was implemented.

"Zoo staff had sight of the cheetah during the entire incident and at one point, the cheetah laid down," the post said. "The cheetah responded to the animal care team and was walked back into its night quarters without incident or intervention."

The 5-year-old cheetah, named Gretchen, was born at Lee G. Simmons Wildlife Safari Park in Cass County, Neb., before coming to the Omaha zoo with her mother and three sisters.

Officials said there will be a review of security in the Scott African Grasslands to determine how the cheetah escaped from the enclosure.

The escape occurred on the same day that a Malayan tapir escaped from its enclosure at Florida's Zoo Miami. The tapir was safely contained about an hour later.


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