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Snow Leopard Death Enquiry

Posted 380 days ago | 30.11.18

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Snow Leopard Death Enquiry

An enquiry heard yesterday revealed that a Dudley Zoo snow leopard escaped from its enclosure on October 23 after a zookeeper left the door open. It was shot dead as a senior member of the firearms team managed the incident.

An investigation found the door to the enclosure was left open through keeper error and a disciplinary procedure has taken place into those involved and security is being reviewed.

Once keepers saw the animal outside, the escape procedure was put in place and the firearms team managed the incident. Reports say the creature did not suffer. 

The zoo said the leopard was killed by a senior member of the firearms team with a single shot. The vet felt that a tranquilliser dart was not a safe option because night was approaching and the darts take time to work. The leopard might have escaped to surrounding woodland and become a public danger.

Zoo director Derek Grove said: "This was an incredibly sad incident and our staff are understandably heartbroken”. He stressed that killing the creature was seen as a last resort but that public safety was paramount.

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