Five lions escape Sydney Zoo enclosure during visiting hours

SYDNEY, Australia: Five lions escaped from their enclosure at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo this week, forcing the zoo to enact a “code one” alert and rush the public to safety.

The alert was issued after video footage showed an adult male lion and four cubs outside their enclosure in the morning.

You are reading: Five lions escape Sydney Zoo enclosure during visiting hours

One cub was tranquilized and returned by zoo keepers, while the remaining four returned on their own.

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The emergency response was enacted less than 10 minutes after the lions escaped the main exhibit area, the zoo said, while local media reported that the lions were confirmed to be back in their enclosure by 9 a.m.

There were no injuries to people or animals.

“The zoo has very strict safety protocols in place for such an incident and immediate action was taken,” said Taronga Zoo Executive Director Simon Duffy.

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At the time the lions escaped, members of the public were participating in an overnight zoo program.

Visitor Magnus Perri told local media that as his family was leaving the zoo, “They came running into a tent area saying, ‘this is a Code One, get out of your tent and run, come now and leave your belongings’.”

The zoo does not yet know how the animals escaped and has launched a formal review.

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