A bighorn escaped from the Los Angeles Zoo on Saturday, and a driver on a residential street killed it before zoo officials could find and retrieve the animal. According to My News LA, the bighorn sheep made it to the Los Feliz district of Los Angeles, and a car hit it near the Greek Theater. A witness to the accident called it in to police. The driver that hit the bighorn sheep fled the scene of the crime.
It is not known how the bighorn sheep managed to escape the zoo. A spokesperson for the Los Angeles Zoo, April Spurlock, said that it is likely that the bighorn sheep jumped a fence. The sheep’s habitat was inspected after the escape, and an investigation is currently underway.
Inside the zoo, the bighorn encountered one zoo patron, but it is not known if that person was injured during the encounter. After the bighorn escaped from the zoo, it ran around the hills surrounding the location for several hours before it was struck by the car.
Zoo officials immediately went to the scene of the accident. After setting a perimeter and tranquilizing the bighorn, they began treatment. However, the bighorn sheep died at the scene from the injuries it suffered during the collision. Witnesses at the scene of the accident did tell police that they saw a car hit the bighorn before speeding away from the scene, according to Reuters.
One resident of the Los Feliz neighborhood, Tom Bruttig, spoke about the incident with CBS News.
“We get animals all the time, but usually not lions, tigers or bears…or rams.”
John Lewis, an official with the Los Angeles zoo, called the death of the animal a “big loss.” The zoo released a statement about the death of the bighorn sheep. It was shared on their official Twitter.
We are deeply saddened by the loss of our Desert bighorn sheep today. Full release: http://t.co/k99pIeT2en
— Los Angeles Zoo (@LAZoo) November 23, 2014
This is not the only incident of an animal escaping from the Los Angeles Zoo. Several animals have escaped from that zoo over the years. In fact, the Los Angeles Zoo had a problem with two of their gorillas. The animals escaped their enclosure several times. Their habitat was originally created to handle bears. In one instance, one of the gorillas used vines to climb out and escape the enclosure, according to ABC News.
However, the Los Angeles Zoo is not the only zoo to experience animal escapes. A group of chimpanzees escaped their enclosure at the Kansas City Zoo earlier this year, according to the New York Daily News. All seven of the animals were retrieved without harm.
However, one accident at the San Francisco Zoo killed a 14-month-old gorilla earlier this month. The Inquisitr previously reported that the young gorilla was caught under a hydraulic door at the end of the day. Zoo staff was putting the gorillas away for the night when the accident happened. Kabibe, whose name means “little lady” in Swahili, died as a result of her injuries.
What do you think of this bighorn escape at the Los Angeles Zoo? Have you ever been to this zoo?
[Photo: Wikimedia Commons]