Lockdown lifted after Andean bear that escaped enclosure at Saint Louis Zoo is darted

Officials at the Saint Louis Zoo said a bear escaped its enclosure for a second time. (Source: KMOV)
Published: Feb. 23, 2023 at 1:24 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 23, 2023 at 2:04 PM CST
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - For the second time in the same month, an Andean bear got out of its enclosure at the Saint Louis Zoo.

Visitors were told Thursday to go inside and stay there while crews search for the 4-year-old bear named Ben. The bear crawled through a hole in the mesh habitat where the habitat attaches to supports. Saint Louis Zoo told News 4 he was later darted and moved back to his indoor habitat. The lockdown was then lifted. The zoo says the whole incident was over after 50 minutes.

“It’s only the second time it’s happened in the history of having that particular habitat,” Zoo Director Michael Macek said. “We review all of our habitats regularly. We are accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, so we are inspected regularly, and Ben will not be out again until we are absolutely sure he won’t be able to get through the mesh again.”

They also said that Ben was the same bear that escaped his enclosure in the Rivers Edge area on Feb. 7.