– Three more animals have died from injuries they sustained when a jaguar escaped its enclosure at New Orleans’ Audubon Zoo this weekend, bringing the death toll from the attack up to nine, zoo officials said Monday.
The zoo announced the Monday death of Rusty, a fox that was under the care of veterinarians after the male jaguar, Valerio attacked him Saturday. On Sunday, two other injured animals — a fox named Copper and an alpaca named Daisy — succumbed to their injuries.
Valerio escaped its habitat around 7:20 a.m. Saturday, before the zoo was open to the public. By 8:15 a.m., veterinarians sedated the animal and secured him in his night house.
During his escape, though, he attacked the other animals in their nearby habitats, instantly killing six — four alpacas named Noel, Micia, Alexandria and Lil Melody, a fox named Maggie Mae and an emu named Elmo.
“The outpouring of community support is helping our staff through this devastating time, especially those who care for our animals,” the zoo said in an update about the escape Monday.
The zoo determined the cause of the incident was not due to handler error.
“From our initial inspection, it appears the roof of the habitat was compromised. We are still investigating, and no animals will be housed in this enclosure until the investigation and repairs are completed,” the zoo said.
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