CBSN

Jaguar may have bitten through steel-cable roof to escape enclosure

NEW ORLEANS -- A jaguar that killed nine animals during a weekend escape is believed to have bitten through a steel-cable barrier that forms the roof of its habitat, said a zoo official in New Orleans. Kyle Burks of the Audubon Zoo told reporters Tuesday that the jaguar apparently slipped through the resulting small gap in the barrier.

No people were hurt. The 3-year-old jaguar, named Valerio, was tranquilized and safely removed less than an hour after an employee discovered it was out early Saturday, before the zoo's opening time. 

But Burks said officials don't know how long it roamed free. He also said it's "conceivable" the cat might have been able to breach an outer perimeter and escape the zoo. But he stressed that the staff was trained to prevent such an occurrence. 

CBS affiliate WWL-TV reported that an alpaca and fox died Sunday, the day after the male jaguar killed four alpacas, an emu and a fox Saturday morning. The zoo later announced that an injured fox died Monday morning, bringing the total number of killed animals to nine.