A missing clouded leopard caused Texas’ largest zoo to shut down Friday before the zoo said she was found on its grounds and safely secured.
The Dallas Zoo said grounds were closed Friday morning due to a “serious situation,” and that Dallas police were helping search for 4-year-old Nova — one of the zoo’s two clouded leopard sisters.
But Friday evening, the zoo confirmed on Twitter they were “thrilled to report” the clouded leopard was found on the zoo’s grounds at approximately 4:40 p.m.
Caretakers noticed the leopard was missing from her habitat and a tear in the mesh of the enclosure this morning, Harrison Edell, executive vice president of animal care and conservation, told the Associated Press. Nova’s sister, Luna, was there and staff were under the assumption the animal escaped.
“If anything, she’s real nervous and afraid of people,” Edell said.
The zoo said they didn’t consider Nova to be a threat to humans and they thought she was probably somewhere hiding on the property because she’s attached to her sister and territory.
The search was focused on scouring trees, which Edell said clouded leopards like to climb.
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Nova was “located very near the original habitat, and teams were able to safely secure her,” the zoo shared.
The zoo added that Nova was being evaluated by veterinary staff, though “initial indications are she is not injured.”
Contributing: Associated Press
Camille Fine is a trending visual producer on USA TODAY’s NOW team.
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