Wolf on the loose after escaping from Essex Zoo

Two animals shot dead, two return after early morning escape

Two of five escaped wolves were shot dead, two returned and one is on the loose. Photograph: Reuters/Eric Gaillard

Two of five escaped wolves were shot dead, two returned and one is on the loose. Photograph: Reuters/Eric Gaillard

Tue, Nov 26, 2013, 15:57

Police in Britain are hunting a wolf which has escaped from a zoo.

The animal was reported missing from Colchester Zoo in Essex at about 8am.

An Essex Police spokesman said: “Police are currently assisting staff at Colchester Zoo searching for a wolf that’s escaped from the zoo site.

“Officials at the zoo have said that wolves are naturally timid, and provided they’re not cornered in any way, do not pose a risk to the public.”

Wolf Keepers discovered that five wolves had left their enclosure through a damaged fence during a morning inspection. All but one have been accounted for, although two had to be shot dead. A spokesman added: “Colchester Zoo’s keepers have been devastated by the loss of two of their beloved timber wolves.“

Tbe spokesman addeed : “One of the wolves returned immediately of its own accord and one was darted and recaptured.

“Unfortunately, as they were further away and an anaesthetic dart takes 15 minutes to take effect, two had to be shot.

“The remaining wolf is thought to be sheltering in thick undergrowth and the police are assisting in its recapture.”

A police helicopter has been deployed and fields around the zoo were being searched. Members of the public were asked to stay away from the area around the zoo to avoid hindering the search. Any sightings should be reported to police by dialling 999.

At 3pm, Essex Police tweeted: “Positive sighting of escaped wolf near ColchesterZoo and area being contained.”