Cincinnati Zoo polar bear causes lockdown

March 19, 2016 | By Garrett Montgomery More

Cincinnati Zoo polar bear on the loose, no, that is not Samuel L. Jackson’s new movie – he is probably terrified of bears. Two polar bears briefly escaped from their den at the Cincinnati Zoo forcing visitors to stay outside as officials resolved the matter.

Cincinnati zoo polar bear

Believe or not, two Cincinnati Zoo polar bears almost fled this week, and of course, the news lit up social media. On Wednesday, two adorable yet scary polar bears, known as Little One and Berit, managed to escape through an open pen door at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, which is located in Cincinnati, Ohio.

According to a statement issued by zoo officials, the animals breached the containment area, which has a double-containment system in place that prevented them from entering visitor areas. Berit, the zoo’s female polar bear, was the first to breach a behind-the-scenes containment area at around 11:30 a.m. and she was quickly followed by Little One.

A similar incident had occurred in the past, which prompted the animal experts to install a second containment area. The zoo’s director Thane Maynard said that strict and necessary protocols were immediately followed, and no animals, staff members or visitors were injured. Maynard explained:

“The double-containment system that we have in place in the polar bear exhibit worked. The bears entered an inappropriate area, but did not leave the building and the public was never at risk.”

Spokeswoman Michelle Curley revealed that the zoo resumed normal operations around 1:30 p.m., and added:

“The bears were resting in their den Wednesday afternoon and could be back on exhibit by Friday, according to a news release from the zoo.”

Visitors were told to either remain indoors or leave the park after the polar bear breach. Some, including Ethan Baugher, waited outside the gates to be allowed back inside while few took to Twitter to laugh at the matter. Zoo officials announced the park was reopened, and the polar bears were contained at around 1:40 p.m.

Baugher, who was visiting the zoo with his family, said he originally felt frustrated and “a bit annoyed” because officials did not immediately reveal the incident, but when he was given a full update, he calmed down. The family man stated:

“This kind of stuff happens.They were maybe a little over-cautious, which is certainly better than not being cautious enough.”

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