Mountain lion El Paso Zoo: City confirms El Paso Zoo on lockdown.
EL PASO, Texas – Rick Isaias, spokesman for El Paso City, confirmed EL Paso Zoo security guards spotted a mountain lion around 6 a.m. Friday morning.
Captain Ray Spears, with the Texas Parks and Wildlife told ABC 7 that they received the call from El Paso Police and sent two game wardens to assist in finding the animal. They are currently looking for the mountain lion.
Spears said that the Texas Parks and Wildlife will follow Zoo protocol when approaching the animal. He told ABC 7 that Zoo staff is trained on tranquilizing animals and are prepared to do so. If they find the animal, and tranquilize it, they would transport it to a State Park.
Spears said that they don’t want to “put the animal down” but if it is aggressive, sick, injured or poses a risk to public safety they would do so.
Spears also said it is not uncommon to see mountain lions in the area, and there is a possibility that the animal has already “slipped through” the Zoo property, and returned back into the mountains.
J. Mendoza, with the El Paso Zoo told ABC 7 that there are security cameras located around the Zoo, and that Zoo staff is currently reviewing those cameras.
El Paso Police are assisting in the search as well as Zoo security.
The mountain lion is not one of the zoo’s animals.
The zoo usually opens at 9:30 a.m., but it will remain closed for the rest of the day.