TAIPEI - A Bengal tiger escaped from an animal hospital at Taipei Zoo yesterday but was captured before encountering the public, zoo officials said.
Ta-tou the Bengal tiger broke free yesterday around 10:45 a.m.. The Wenshan First Precinct was immediately notified of the tiger's escape.
A zoo spokesman said there are three zones in the enclosure and that the animal had entered the second, which is open only to zoo employees. There were no injuries during the incident.
Officials said that the tiger had been able to escape from the animal hospital through a door left open by zoo maintenance staff.
The workers did not notice the oversight until the tiger had already entered the second buffer zone, the zoo said.
After 45 minutes of wandering around, the tiger was spotted by a veterinarian, who administered a tranquilizer dart at 11:30 a.m. Once the cat was unconscious, the zookeepers returned it to the enclosure.
When police arrived on the scene, the tiger was already unresponsive, according to the zoo.
Taipei Zoo held a review meeting yesterday afternoon to discuss the incident and form measures to ensure that the situation would not occur again.
The zoo released an official apology after the meeting and announced that it will re-evaluate and strengthen safety regulations.