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A zoo in New Orleans was temporarily closed after a male jaguar escaped from its exhibit Saturday morning and killed six other animals.

"We are looking to investigate everything that happened and to prevent anything like this from ever happening again", said Forman. The large cat, named Valerio, mauled four alpaca, an emu and a fox in nearby habitats before it was sedated by the zoo's veterinary team less than an hour later.

According to a statement from the zoo, the staff and security quickly implemented the correct plan to ensure staff safety.

A jaguar escaped his habitat at a New Orleans zoo on Saturday, killing six other zoo animals.

Valerio is one of two jaguars housed at Audubon Zoo. It was not immediately clear how the animal escaped. "This is by far the biggest incident, the biggest magnitude, the biggest tragedy we've had".

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Frank Burks, the zoo's chief doctor, said an additional three animals are being treated for injuries.

Kyle Burks, vice president and managing director for the zoo, said at a news conference that Valero was sedated by a team of veterinarians and the animal was returned and secured in his area. "Today is a hard day for the Audubon family", a statement from the Audobon Nature Institute said. Grief counselors were also brought in for traumatized staff. An investigation is ongoing and will continue until officials are able to determine just how the jaguar escaped its habitat.

"And it's because you're dealing with animals that, at their genetic core, are built differently than we might like them to be".

"These animals belong to the public, they're part of nature", Forman said.

No people were injured, the zoo said. We've never had an incident like that before.