Officials at a central Kansas zoo are trying to figure out how a 150-pound mountain lion escaped from its enclosure.
The 14-year-old female was shot and killed by police at the Great Bend Zoo on Sunday evening, May 24, 2009. (This follows an incident the previous day at the Memphis Zoo when a Bengal tiger bit a zookeeper.)
Great Bend’s Brit Spaugh Zoo director Mike Cargill tells local media that the mountain lion escaped during feeding time shortly before closing (at 7:00 PM). The staff quickly moved the few zoo-goers in the area to safety.
Cargill says visitors were never in danger but the situation was “deteriorating quickly.” The big cat was frightened and had a history of being somewhat aggressive.
Tranquilizer darts would have taken a half-hour to arrive so police were called in.
Great Bend police shot and killed the cougar as it crouched in the bushes next to the bobcat exhibit.
Information from: KAKE-TV, KSN-TV, and other local media.
An African lion at the Brit Spaugh Zoo.