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Lion Leaps Fence At California Zoo

Sat., May 13, 1995

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.

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