Lehigh Valley

Escaped bobcat prompts evacuation at Lehigh Valley Zoo

No injuries reported

VIDEO Escaped bobcat prompts...

NORTH WHITEHALL TWP., Pa. - Visitors of the Lehigh Valley Zoo were escorted into buildings when a bobcat escaped from its enclosure Saturday.

Lehigh Valley Zoo President and CEO Melissa Borland said the bobcat escaped through a hole it made between the fence and a tree.

Zoo patrons were escorted into buildings while handlers worked to capture the animal.

"Everybody was running. We came here for the brew fest. We were inside having a good time and all of a sudden all the staff came running around and told us that we all had to go inside doors they wouldn't tell us why," said Jason Smith, of Allentown.

Borland said the 18-year-old female bobcat, named Shiska, got 25 to 50 feet from its enclosure before being captured by handlers.

She said zoo employees had eyes on the bobcat the entire time and it took about an hour to safely net the animal.

"We have a very strict protocol on these things our staff is very well trained and at no time were people in danger," said Borland. 

The zoo was evacuated when officials confirmed the scene was safe.

Borland said there were about 2,000 people at the zoo when the bobcat escaped.

There were no injuries reported.

Zoo officials say the bobcat is in perfect health. She is being looked over by a veterinarian. They say the bobcat will be put back on exhibit when officials feel that she is ready and after they have checked over the entire exhibit and repaired it. 

The incident happened during the zoo's Cat Country 96 Brew at the Zoo Country Beer Festival.

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