New Orleans Zoo Returns Jaguar in Strengthened Exhibit

Feb 5, 2019

The Audubon Zoo in New Orleans is reopening its jaguar exhibit after months of redesign after the big cat escaped last summer and killed nine animals.

The Audubon Zoo is returning Valerio to display Tuesday after the July 15 escape. The escape occurred before the zoo opened. Five alpacas, an emu and three foxes died from injuries in the attack.

Zoo officials say the jaguar chewed through a fence of the exhibit. Zoo employees were able to sedate the jaguar and have been caring for the 160-pound (73-kilogram) cat out of public view since the attack.

The 3-year-old jaguar was born at the San Diego Zoo in 2015 and came to New Orleans in 2017. Zoo officials said Monday the redesigned exhibit area exceeds current industry standards.