Jaguar escapes its enclosure at Abilene Zoo, kills spider monkey

ABILENE, TX (KTAB/KRBC) – A jaguar escaped from its enclosure at the Abilene Zoo and injured a spider monkey Monday morning.

The Zoo’s executive director detailed the incident in a press conference later that morning, saying that at approximately 8:10 a.m., zoo staff learned a 2-year-old jaguar, Estrella, had escaped her enclosure and was seen sitting on top of the adjacent spider monkey exhibit.

Emergency response teams then used tranquilizer guns to subdue the jaguar and take her into custody. Estrella has been secured and she and  Zoo’s second jaguar were not injured during the incident, but the jaguar did injure a spider monkey so severely the monkey had to be euthanized.

It’s unknown how long Estrella was on top of the enclosure. There are no surveillance videos in the area.

Zoo officials have not determined how the jaguar escaped, and an active investigation into the incident is underway. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums has also been notified of this incident. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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