Drone helps locate missing lions, tigers and other animals at flooded zoo near Spangdahlem

Two lions, two tigers, a bear and a jaguar are among the animals that were unaccounted for at Eifel Zoo, located about 10 miles from a recently vacated Army barracks in Bitburg, Germany, and about 30 miles from Spangdahlem Air Base.


Two lions, two tigers and a jaguar that were originally believed to have escaped from a zoo about 25 miles north of Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, were hidden from sight because of flooding Friday and never left the zoo grounds, officials said.

The only animal that broke free of its enclosure at the Eifel-Zoo in Luenebach was a bear, which was shot on the grounds, said Marc Poetzsch of the Eifel area’s disaster response agency.

Poetzsch said that authorities believed the animals escaped because they couldn’t be seen after their enclosure was flooded in the wake of heavy rains Friday.

“Later, when the weather was better, we were able to see with the drone that the animals were still there,” he said.

Spangdahlem Air Base officials sent out an email alerting the base community of news that the animals had escaped, said Capt. Andrea Valencia, a base spokeswoman. Officials also posted an advisory on the base’s Facebook site.

Eifel is home to about 60 exotic and local animal species, the zoo’s website says. It keeps about 400 animals, including a Siberian tiger.


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