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Runaway Bear Cub Forces Shutdown of Columbus Zoo

brown bear cub
Generic photo of a brown bear cub.  Shirley & Pat Collins/McPhoto/ullstein bild via Getty Images

A runaway 7-month-old black bear cub got her 15 minutes of freedom at the Columbus Zoo on Saturday, June 25, leading to an emergency shutdown of the zoo before she was sedated and returned to her habitat.

“At approximately 11:15 a.m., our seven month old female black bear cub breached its exhibit containment in the Zoo and gained access to Zoo grounds,” the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium said in a statement. “The Zoo called for immediate lockdown of the Zoo which is our normal protocol. The lockdown was quickly downgraded and only the cub’s immediate area was considered on lockdown. All guests were moved to safety during the lockdown procedure.”

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According to the report, the bear cub was frightened and so had to be sedated and taken to a secure area. Neither she nor any park guests were harmed in the incident.

The zoo has since reopened and is operating as per usual.

According to local station, the cub is one of two orphaned wild cubs that were brought to the zoo just a few months ago.

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Wildlife officials have been on high alert about wild animal attacks since the tragic death of a 2-year-old Nebraska boy at a Walt Disney World resort in Florida earlier this month.

Lane Graves was playing in the shallows of the Seven Seas Lagoon with his family when an alligator snatched him up. His body was later found intact several hours later, with his cause of death marked as “drowning and traumatic injuries.”

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The Florida Wildlife Agency has since released a statement that it is “confident” it has caught the alligator responsible for attacking and killing Graves.

Last month the Cincinnati Zoo shot and killed a gorilla named Harambe after a 4-year-old boy climbed a fence and fell into the animal's enclosure.

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