A male cheetah caused quite the scene at the Indianapolis Zoo this Labor Day weekend. A zoo spokesperson says that the male cheetah named Pounce jumped out of his enclosure this morning into a grassy area near visitor viewing. The zoo immediately went into "Code Red" lockdown procedure with zoo patrons ushered to safe places in the zoo until an emergency response team could get the large cat sedated.
The Daily Mail reports that a lockdown was initiated this morning at the Indianapolis Zoo after a male cheetah escaped his enclosure. The zoo spokesperson notes that the Cheetah, named Pounce, earned his name when he leaped out of the enclosure into a grassy area that connects to the visitor viewing area.
The incident took place at approximately 9:40 a.m. local time. Zoo staff immediately issued a "Code Red" and zoo-goers were taken to "safe" locations while the emergency response team was called in to sedate the big cat. According to tweets by the zoo, the lockdown lasted approximately 30 minutes while the cheetah was shot with a sedative dart.
The zoo notes that no animals, staff, or guests were injured in the incident and that the cheetahs will not be back on display until the incident is thoroughly investigated.
We want to assure everyone that all of our guests and our staff staff are safe. All of our cheetahs are safe in holding off exhibit.
— Indianapolis Zoo (@IndianapolisZoo) September 6, 2015
Our cheetah exhibit will remain closed & animals will stay indoors while we conduct a review of the exhibit & make any necessary changes. — Indianapolis Zoo (@IndianapolisZoo) September 6, 2015The Indianapolis Zoo notes that when the incident occurred, only Pounce and his brother Zephyr were on exhibit. The zoo also has two female cheetahs and an older male cheetah that were not on display at the time of the great cheetah escape. However, the zoo has said they will not put any of the five cheetahs on display until the enclosure investigation is complete.
Meanwhile, the cheetahs are being held in a holding unit outside of public view. It was also reported that since the cheetah exhibit opened five years ago there has not been a single reported incident until today.
Lock down lifted at @IndianapolisZoo after 'Code Red' issued by zoo officials http://t.co/VHRBJQiwWM pic.twitter.com/NnSXKkYTWaHow do you think the Indianapolis Zoo handled the escape of Pounce the cheetah?
— WISH-TV (@WISH_TV) September 6, 2015
[Image Credit: Getty Images/ Cameron Spencer]