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Jaguar escapes enclosure, attacks monkey at Texas zoo

Zoo officials say this jaguar, Estrella, was discovered missing Monday morning, May 15, 2017, and later found after attacking a monkey at a neighboring exhibit. The monkey had to be euthanized. Estrella was tranquilized using a dart gun and placed in a holding pen. (Liz Kellerman/Abilene Zoo via AP)

Zoo officials say this jaguar, Estrella, was discovered missing Monday morning, May 15, 2017, and later found after attacking a monkey at a neighboring exhibit. The monkey had to be euthanized. Estrella was tranquilized using a dart gun and placed in a holding pen. (Liz Kellerman/Abilene Zoo via AP)

ABILENE, Texas (AP) — Officials insist there was no risk to the public when a jaguar escaped its enclosure and attacked a monkey at a Texas zoo, even though they don’t know how the big cat got loose.

Abilene Zoo Executive Director Bill Gersonde (gher-SUN-day) says staff discovered 2-year-old Estrella missing Monday morning before the zoo opened for the day.

Estrella was found soon after atop a neighboring exhibit holding spider monkeys. Gersonde says it appears Estrella reached inside and seriously injured the monkey, which has been euthanized.

Estrella was tranquilized using a dart gun then placed in a holding pen. Another jaguar also was secured.

Gersonde said at a news conference that the doors to the jaguar enclosure are secure and that there was never any threat to the public. He didn’t elaborate.

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