Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City, Utah was brought to a panic when Zeya, a 4-year old Amur leopard, escaped from her enclosure around 9:30 on Tuesday morning. Officials are still unclear how the leopard managed her escape that placed the entire zoo, along with all of its patrons, on complete lockdown.
For safety concerns, zoo customers were kept indoors in locations such as bathrooms until the animal could be caught and returned. The leopard was eventually cornered and tranquilized without any significant incident around 10:30 a.m., there were no reported injuries, and the zoo then resumed normal operations.
The Utah incident occurs just 10 days after highly publicized and controversial killing of the gorilla, Harambe, in Cincinnati. The gorilla was fatally shot after a three-year-old boy fell into its enclosure. The leopard’s escape in Utah continues to enforce the controversy surrounding zoo’s ability to provide adequate safety to patrons, employees, and animals alike. Fortunately, Hogle Zoo’s leopard is much smaller than Harambe, and zoo officials could use tranquilizers without incident.