An Andean bear named Ben has escaped his enclosure at the St. Louis Zoo for the second time in less than a month. The 4-year-old bear broke out of his habitat on Thursday, tearing through stainless steel clips that were used to secure his enclosure after his first escape on February 7th.
Guests and staff members were promptly moved indoors, and Ben was secured roughly 50 minutes later. According to the zoo’s director, Michael Macek, Ben is known to be “curious.” It seems that the cargo clips, which are rated to 450 pounds tensile strength, were not strong enough to contain him.
The zoo’s previous release explained that Ben had escaped earlier this month by meddling with the steel mesh in his outdoor habitat. This caused a cable to give way, allowing the bear to work his way out. Ben was eventually tranquilized and taken to an indoor holding area.
Consultation with an Advisory Group
After the second escape, the zoo has decided to consult with an advisory group from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. This group will help determine alternative methods to secure Ben’s habitat and prevent any future escapes.
Ben’s species, the Andean bear, is also known as the spectacled bear due to its distinctive facial markings. These bears are native to the Andes mountains in South America and are considered vulnerable due to habitat loss and hunting.
The St. Louis Zoo is home to several species of animals, and visitors can explore different habitats throughout the park. The zoo is committed to animal conservation and education, working to protect endangered species and promote awareness of conservation issues.