Vandals loose tiger, other animals at Alaska Zoo

Posted: Thursday, September 21, 2000

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Al, one of three Siberian tigers at the Alaska Zoo, wandered the grounds for a brief time early Thursday morning after vandals broke into the zoo and used bolt cutters to break the locks on about 10 animal cages.

Handlers found Al lounging by a fence and darted him with a tranquilizer gun before returning him to his cage, said zoo spokeswoman Sammye Seawell.

''He didn't give anybody any problem,'' Seawell said. ''Most of the animals are happy and they're not looking for a place to go.''

Seawell said she did not know how long Al was out of his cage.

A deer was also returned to its cage, but a lynx and fox remained missing Thursday morning, she said.

A zoo guard discovered the vandalism at about 5 a.m. and notified Anchorage police and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

For a brief time it was not known if Al had escaped the zoo's grounds and police surrounded the perimeter of the property as a precaution.

Al is the largest of the zoo's three Siberian tigers. He shares a cage with his mother, Martha, and his brother, Steve.

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