French zoo shut after pack of wolves escapes

Wolves at the Domaine des Grottes de Han Wildlife Park and touristic site in Han-sur-Lesse, Belgium
The wolves escaped after destroying security installations, but never left the zoo.  Kenzo TRIBOUILLARD / AFP
French authorities in the south of the country have temporarily shut down a zoo after a pack of nine wolves escaped from their enclosure during visiting hours, officials said on Friday.

No humans were injured in the incident last weekend at the Trois Vallees zoo in Montredon-Labessonnie in the Tarn region but four of the wolves were shot dead by park workers and five others anaesthetised by local officials on the scene, local official Fabien Chollet told AFP.

“There were not many people in the zoo at the time and at no time was the public in immediate danger,” added Chollet. However the “security problem” meant that the zoo now needed to be closed until the issues were rectified, he added.

The park’s owner Sauveur Ferrara told AFP that the wolves, who were newly arrived at the attraction, escaped after destroying security installations but never went outside the zoo itself.

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“Due to the abnormal and dangerous behaviour of some of them, four wolves were sadly killed by the park personnel,” he added, emphasising that members of the public had immediately been evacuated from the park.

The park had already in October 2020 been hit by a closure order over security measures but this was then lifted by a court. Its website said it plans to reopen now in mid-January.

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