A 320-pound lion scaled a zoo fence, forcing the evacuation of about 560 visitors.
“A zoo director’s worst nightmare is a predator’s escape,” said Joel Parrot, director of the Knowland Park Zoo.
The lion, a female named Maddie, went over a 12-foot chain-link fence topped with barbed wire Thursday. The zoo’s visitors at the time included 260 schoolchildren.
The animal paced along the fence for an hour until it was hit with a tranquilizer dart and recaptured.
The lion exhibit will remain closed while a more secure fence is installed.