French zoo forced to close after nine wolves escape while it was open
Visitors were immediately evacuated
A zoo in France was forced to temporarily close after a pack of nine wolves escaped while the attraction was open and accepting visitors.
As reported in multiple outlets, the Trois Vallées Zoo in Montredon-Labessonnie in southern France saw nine of its wolves escape last weekend, leading local authorities to temporarily shut it down.
According to reports, the wolves destroyed safety hatches and even climbed fences but none of the nine animals managed to escape the zoo.
After the zoo closed its doors, authorities were brought in to secure the park with five of the nine wolves anaesthetised and returned to their enclosures. Unfortunately four of the wolves were shot dead for "dangerous behaviour", according to reports obtained by the AFP news agency.
According to the zoo's official website, it will now remain closed until mid-January in order to complete "urgent works".
Meanwhile, a statement from local official Fabian Chollet shed some more light on the recent incident.
"There were not many people in the zoo at the time and at no time was the public in immediate danger," he told AFP.
Park owner Sauveur Ferrara told the same outlet that the escaped wolves had only recently arrived at the zoo, before assuring everyone that at no point were the general public in any danger.
Ferrara confirmed that after reports of the escape had been raised, visitors were immediately evacuated.
This isn't the first time the 60 hectare park has been forced to close. In October 2020, France's Minister of the Ecological Transition, Barbara Pompili, ordered the venue to close citing concerns for the welfare of its animals and the safety of its staff.
The zoo holds more than 600 creatures, including lions, monkeys and flamingos.
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