An eighth animal has died after a jaguar escaped his enclosure yesterday morning at the Audubon Zoo.
While on the loose, the jaguar managed to attack and kill six other animals - four alpacas, a fox and an emu. However, no humans were injured as the incident occurred before the zoo had opened to the public.
By 8:15 it had been spotted, tranquillised and returned to its enclosure by veterinary surgeons.
In a Facebook post in February, the zoo called Valerio the jaguar a "big lovable goofball" and encouraged visitors to see him in its "Jaguar Jungle" exhibit.
The zoo was closed on Saturday but will reopen at 10am on Sunday.
He said the zoo was bringing in grief counselors to help staff cope with the incident. We are still investigating, and no animals will be housed in this enclosure until the investigation and repairs are completed.
"As of early this morning, our fox, Rusty faired well overnight, he will continue to be monitored and treated by expert animal care professionals", officials said. 'Unfortunately, it was doing what jaguars do'.More news: Poll Points to Russian Dislike for Trump
"And it's because you're dealing with animals that, at their genetic core, are built differently than we might like them to be. They are created to be wild animals", he said.
The Audubon Zoo is in New Orleans.
A zoo statement read: 'Our animals are our family.
He adds they are inspected by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and the zoo was recently re-accredited in April.
Meet Valerio, our male jaguar! "Certainly his behaviour wasn't out of the ordinary for that kind of an animal".
"We care for these animals every day", Burks said. The zoo was closed to the public at that time. We've never had an incident like that before.