Nov. 26 (UPI) -- A pack of timber wolves from the Colchester Zoo caused a ruckus in Essex, England on Tuesday when five of them escaped from their enclosure. One of the wolves immediately returned to the site, two were shot dead, while another was darted and recaptured.
"Unfortunately, an anaesthetic dart takes 15 minutes to take effect and may not work at all in a stressed animal so two wolves that had left the perimeter of the zoo had to be shot," the zoo explained in a statement. "They are wild animals and in an unpredictable situation they would have posed a risk to the public."
Essex police lent a helicopter and ground units to the search for the remaining wolf.
Colchester Zoo staff are currently focusing all their efforts and attention on re-capturing the last wolf.— Colchester Zoo (@ColchesterZoo) November 26, 2013
Assisting staff at @ColchesterZoo to recapture escaped wolf. Public urged to stay away from area.If wolf is seen, please call 999— Essex Police (@EssexPoliceUK) November 26, 2013
Zoo officials later said that the last wolf "had to be destroyed" has a safety measure.
"We have obviously had a very difficult day and would be grateful for your consideration," they added.
It has been a devastating day for everyone at Colchester Zoo http://t.co/LOcB3frG9t Please see link for Colchester Zoo statement— Colchester Zoo (@ColchesterZoo) November 26, 2013