Fear of big cats 'zoo break' sparks lockdown in German town

Fear of big cats 'zoo break' sparks lockdown in German town

The animals have escaped from their enclosures at the Eifel Zoo in the western town of Luenebach, which is near the border with Luxembourg and Belgium.

German media sources have reported that the privately owned Eifel zoo flooded overnight due to a storm which meant the animals were able to go free.

Numerous police, zookeepers, and firefighters are combing the zoo looking for the animals before they wandered into the town.

The animals included two lions, two tigers, a bear and a jaguar, according to several news reports. Residents in the area have been advised to stay indoors while a hunt is under way for the big cats.

The 74-acre zoo offers many attractions including a cable auto and a miniature village.

According to the German broadcaster, heavy rain meant the water level increased and nearly the "entire zoo was flooded".

A bear escaped the Luenebach zoo's grounds and had to be shot, an official said. A bear was reportedly shot, but it is not clear exactly why.

Friday's great escape comes two years after two lions broke out of their cages at a zoo in Leipzig in eastern Germany.

The visitor, a woman who wishes to remain anonymous, said that Lyka the lioness had been written off as a "breeding mistake" by the Maasin Zoo in Iloilo, southern Philippines, having gone blind after being born in 2013 with eyesight problems.

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