Vandals loose tiger, other animals at Alaska Zoo

Posted: Friday, September 22, 2000

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A lynx that was among the animals released by vandals at the Alaska Zoo remained at large Thursday evening, zoo officials said.

All other animals were back in their pens, except a short-eared owl that was so severly injured it had to be euthanized, zoo director Tex Edwards said. The owl escaped its cage and flew into the enclosure of a yak, which hit it with its foot, Edwards said.

Al, the largest of the zoo's three Siberian tigers, wandered the grounds for a brief time early Thursday morning after vandals broke in 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.

A deer and red fox were among about a dozen animals set loose, but they were later captured, Edwards said.

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

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