This Jaguar Escaped Its Zoo Exhibit and Massacred Four Alpacas, an Emu, and a Fox

It's easy to forget that the zoo isn't just a fun place for school field trips and that it is, in fact, literally filled with wild animals. And wild animals are not particularly nice.

 A sobering reminder of this came on Saturday when a jaguar escaped its exhibit and promptly hunted six of its fellow inhabitants. This happened in New Orleans at the Audubon Zoo, which is home to Valero, the 3-year-old male jaguar. Valero was spotted out and about by an employee at roughly 7am, but four alpacas, one emo, and a fox had fallen prey to him. Thankfully, no humans were injured. 

According to Kyle Burks, the vice president and managing director of the zoo, the jaguar was sedated and returned to its area. The zoo stayed closed for the rest of Saturday "to help [the] team mourn" but was set to open again on Sunday.

A review is taking place to figure out how Valero escaped.

"We’ll be continuing to investigate this situation to find out exactly the facts behind this," Berns said, "and then we’ll adjust our protocols."


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James Chrisman is a News Writer at Thrillist. Send news tips to and follow him on Twitter @james_chrisman2.