Five lions from Taronga Zoo managed to escape from their pen earlier this morning, forcing the place into a lockdown.
Police were called to the Sydney based Zoo around 7:00am after reports surfaced that some of their lions had fled their enclosure.
“An emergency situation occurred this morning at Taronga Zoo when five lions were located outside their enclosure,” the Zoo said.
“The Zoo has strict safety protocols in place for such an incident.
“All person on site were moved to safe zones and there are no injuries to guests or staff.
“All animals are now in their exhibit where they are being closely monitored.
“The Zoo will be open as normal today. Further details will be provided when possible.”
— 9News Australia (@9NewsAUS) November 1, 2022
The lions were sedated with tranquilizers so staff could easily re-capture and take them back to their enclosure.
Several reports on social media detailed that sirens had been heard early in the morning from locals in surrounding suburbs.
A family who was staying near the lion enclosure as part of the “Roar and Snore” program detailed what happened when staff realised the situation.
“They came running into the tent area saying, ‘this is a Code One, get out of your tent and run, come now and leave your belongings’,” said Magnus, who was staying with his wife and two children at the zoo.
“We had to run to this building, it was only 50 or 70 metres. They counted us, then locked the door.”
Police could be seen near the lion enclosure speaking with staff while trainers walked the fence perimeter to ensure it was safe.
Taronga Zoo has said that a full review is underway to determine how this happened.
Twitter has been flooded with comments making light of the situation, including from the Brisbane Lions who jokingly said that the five lions would now be recruited into the AFL team.
We're excited to announce 5 new Lions will join the den from Taronga Zoo 🦁
Thanks to @nswpolice for their assistance in capturing the talent 👏
In other breaking news, our 2023 memberships are on sale 👀 https://t.co/9NXDiBmAax
— Brisbane Lions (@brisbanelions) November 1, 2022
While another said that the lions escape was down to the work of the mischievous penguins from the animated film Madagascar.