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5 wolves escape SE England zoo; 3 shot dead

LONDON - British zoo staff have killed three wolves which escaped from their pen.

Colchester Zoo in southeastern England said a fourth wandering wolf was subdued with a tranquilizer dart and recaptured while a fifth quickly returned to its pen on its own Tuesday.

The zoo said in a statement: "They are wild animals and in an unpredictable situation they would have posed a risk to the public."

Officials said they do not know how the fence around the pen became damaged despite being checked on a daily basis.

Visitors to the zoo told BBC that officials initially didn’t tell them the wolves had escaped, but instead described the situation as a “medical emergency.”

Bryony Williams, who was at the zoo at the time with her children, told the BBC the lack of forthrightness about the situation was concerning and "a bit silly."