Five lions have escaped from their enclosure at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo, prompting it to issue a ‘code one’ emergency alert and forcing staff and visitors to run to ‘safe areas’.

The animals – an adult male and four cubs – were spotted outside their exhibit at 6.30am local time on Wednesday.

The zoo said an emergency response was called less than 10 minutes after the lions fled.

Although the lions were still in an area separated from the rest of the complex by a 6ft fence, guests staying at the zoo as part of its “Roar and Snore” overnight program were moved to safety.

“They came running into the tent area saying, ‘It’s a code one, get out of your tent and run, come now and leave your things,'” Magnus Perri, one of the guests, said. to local media.

Zoo keepers calmed and brought back one cub while the other four returned to the enclosure on their own at around 9am.

No person or animal was injured and the site opened normally.

The zoo does not know how the animals escaped and has launched an investigation.

Image:
Staff inspect a lion enclosure at the zoo after five lions escaped from their exhibit on Wednesday

“The zoo has very strict safety protocols in place for such an incident and immediate action has been taken,” the attraction’s executive director, Simon Duffy, said at a press conference.

He said the lion enclosure had two containment fences and the animals had climbed through one of them.

In a statement on social media, the zoo said everyone present at the incident had been moved to “safe areas”.

He added: “All the animals are now in their exhibit where they are being closely monitored.”

The lion section of the zoo is home to Ato and Maya and their five cubs – Khari and Luzuko who are males and Malika, Zuri and Ayanna who are females. Maya and Ayanna stayed in the pen while the others came out.

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