The Latest: Leopard safe after escaping from Utah zoo

AP News
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Posted: Jun 07, 2016 2:38 PM

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Latest on a leopard that escaped at a Salt Lake City zoo (all times local):

12:25 p.m.

Salt Lake City zoo officials say the rare Amur leopard is safe after it escaped from her enclosure and was tranquilized by staff.

Hogle Zoo spokeswoman Erica Hansen says the 4-year-old female leopard was found Tuesday morning by zoo visitors about an hour after it escaped. The leopard, named Zeya, was sleeping on a high outdoor ledge in a public area, about one or two feet outside its exhibit.

She says she doesn't know how the animal escaped. There are two Amur leopards at the zoo.

Hansen says the other leopard is in a separate enclosure and did not escape.

Zoo visitors who took shelter inside buildings are safe, and the zoo has been reopened.

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11:15 a.m.

Salt Lake City zoo visitors who took shelter inside buildings as staffers searched for a loose leopard say they were calm as they waited to be let out.

Steve Jones says he and his family were at the monkey exhibit when workers told them to get inside a restaurant along with several hundred people.

Jones says, "We never really did feel in danger."

Hansen says the 4-year-old leopard, named Zeya, was reported missing at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday. It was captured about an hour later.

Stephanie Gardner says she was looking at the giraffes when a staff member told her family to take shelter in the gift shop with about 40 other people.

Lines outside the zoo were long because people were kept out during the lockdown.

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10:45 a.m.

A leopard that got loose at a Salt Lake City zoo has been captured, and visitors who took shelter inside buildings are being allowed to leave.

Hogle Zoo spokeswoman Erica Hansen said nobody was hurt Tuesday. She says the female leopard went missing from its enclosure around 9:30 a.m.

Hansen didn't know where the animal was found on the zoo grounds.

The 4-year-old leopard, named Zeya, is one of two leopards at the zoo, on the east side of Salt Lake City.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture last inspected the zoo on May 3 and found no violations.

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10:35 a.m.

Salt Lake City zoo officials say a leopard has escaped and forced visitors to take shelter inside buildings, but the animal has been spotted and workers are working to sedate it.

Hogle Zoo spokeswoman Erica Hansen said nobody was hurt Tuesday. Hansen says the female leopard went missing from its enclosure around 9:30 a.m.

She says zoo staffers are trying to tranquilize the animal. Hansen didn't know where the leopard was found on the zoo grounds.

The 4-year-old leopard, named Zeya, is one of two leopards at the zoo, on the east side of Salt Lake City.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture last inspected the zoo on May 3 and found no violations.