Columbus zoo briefly locked down after bear cub gets loose

Courtesy of Derek Guenther
Courtesy: Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
Courtesy: Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

POWELL, OH (WCMH) — Zoo officials confirmed the zoo was placed on lock down after a seven-month-old female black bear cub breached her enclosure Saturday.

The zoo says the cub got out around 11:15am and was sedated with a dart at 11:30am. She was taken to her sleeping quarters.

Courtesy of Derek Guenther
Courtesy of Derek Guenther

The cub is one of two orphaned wild cubs that were brought to the zoo just a few months ago.

The main zoo lockdown was lifted just before noon, but the North America region remained on lockdown until zoo staff could secure the second cub and take it into the bear building.

The black bear habitat will remain closed for the rest of the day.

No human or animal injuries have been reported.

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium released the following statement.

At approximately 11:15 a.m., our seven month old female black bear cub breached its exhibit containment in the Zoo and gained access to Zoo grounds. The Zoo called for immediate lockdown of the Zoo which is our normal protocol. The lockdown was quickly downgraded and only the cub’s immediate area was considered on lockdown. All guests were moved to safety during the lockdown procedure. The Zoo’s Emergency Response Team went into immediate action to assess the situation, formulated a plan to tranquilize and secured the animal. At approximately 11:30 a.m. the animal was tranquilized, crated and taken to a secure area. Visitors in the park were moved to safe locations and were not in danger. We will provide more details as they become available.”

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