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Zoo Locked Down After Polar Bear Escapes

'This kind of stuff happens'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 16, 2016 2:33 PM CDT

(Newser) – It was a bear-y close call Wednesday at the Cincinnati Zoo when a female polar bear named Berit escaped her exhibit, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. According to WLWT, the bear got out of its exhibit into an interior hallway but never left the staff-only building. Regardless, visitors were herded into conference rooms, the monkey house, the manatee house, and other indoor areas as a precaution. There were reports of armed escorts taking visitors to their cars if they wished to leave. One zoo visitor tells the Enquirer he was "a bit annoyed," but "this kind of stuff happens."

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The zoo was reopened after more than two hours when Berit was safely back in her enclosure. A zoo spokesperson says the bear was not harmed, and the zoo is currently investigating how Berit was able to escape. The situation could have been worse. In 1990, a Cincinnati Zoo worker lost an arm after Icee the polar bear attacked her during a feeding. (Read more polar bear stories.)

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