Lnebach residents had been told to stay indoors after animals escaped during flash flood
Five big cats two lions, two tigers and a jaguar escaped their enclosures in a flooded German zoo for several hours of Friday but were later reportedly back in their cages.
Local residents near the zoo close to the Luxembourg border were told to stay indoors while the predators were on the loose.
A bear, which also broke out of its enclosure at the Eifel zoo in Lnebach, was shot dead, a spokesman for local authorities said. Officials were verifying if the fences and cages were secure, said the spokesman.
Overnight heavy thunderstorms had sparked flash floods in the area and completely flooded the private zoo, which is located on a riverbank. The high waters had damaged the cages, allowing the animals to go on the run.
Local newspaper Trier Volksfreund said the big cats were still within the 30-hectare (74-acre) grounds of the zoo when they were finally located by a drone.
Emergency services including firefighters and police were deployed to hunt down the predators, while inhabitants of the town were told to stay indoors and to keep their windows and doors closed.
On Friday many residents were busy clearing muddy water from their cellars and removing trees downed by the severe storm. Part of a local motorway had also been blocked off due to high waters.
The zoo is home to about 400 animals, also including a Siberian tiger, and is owned by the Wallpott family.
Fridays escape came two years after a similar case in eastern Germany, when two lions broke out of their cages at the Leipzig zoo. One of the lions was shot dead while the other was eventually brought back into captivity.
In 2015, an orangutan was shot dead after escaping from the Duisburg zoo, and a bear that had escaped from Osnabrck was killed in 2017.
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