Near-Escapes Plague SF Zoo

Polar bear, snow leopard nearly got out since fatal mauling
By Will McCahill,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 12, 2008 10:11 AM CST
Police Chief Heather Fong, right, and San Francisco Zoo Director Manuel Mollinedo leave a press conference Dec. 28, 2007, in San Francisco. The Christmas Day Tiger attack has focused attention on Mollinedo...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Two animals have nearly escaped from enclosures at the San Francisco Zoo since a fatal mauling Dec. 25, the Chronicle reports. A 600-pound polar bear—whose movements are so unpredictable it's kept away from the zoo's other polar bears—tried to scale an enclosure wall Jan. 3; a 100-pound snow leopard got a paw and part of its head out of a mesh cage yesterday.

Two zoo employees told the Chronicle they feared for their own safety and that of visitors following the new incidents. A teenager was killed Christmas Day when a Siberian tiger leapt from its enclosure; two companions were injured before police shot the animal to death. The zoo was closed at the time of the polar bear incident, open during the snow leopard's attempt.