An Andean bear emerges from its enclosure again at the Saint-Louis Zoo


An Andean bear at the Saint Louis Zoo is back in its enclosure after escaping its habitat for a second time this month.

The bear, named Ben, escaped from its outdoor habitat on Thursday afternoon, according to a statement from the zoo.

But he didn’t stay out for long. The zoo quickly implemented its “zoo animal emergency response protocol” and guests and staff were escorted to indoor facilities while the bear was secured, the zoo said. The whole operation took about 50 minutes.

This isn’t the first time Ben has wandered outside his enclosure.

Earlier this month, it emerged “by tangling steel mesh in the right place” of its outdoor habitat, causing a cable to give way, which then allowed it to exit, according to the zoo’s statement.

And although his habitat has been made safer since then, including the addition of 450-pound tensile strength stainless steel cargo clips, Ben has always found a way out.

“At four, we know Ben is young and adventurous. Our team will continue to work collaboratively and consult with the Association of Zoos & Aquariums and the Bear Taxon Advisory Group to research other alternative ways to secure the habitat,” the Saint Louis Zoo said in its statement.

According to the zoo’s website, Andean bears are the only bears native to South America and live in a variety of habitats around the Andean mountains “from montane forests to coastal scrub.”

They are tree bears and their long, strong claws allow them to be exceptional climbers. However, the species faces a high risk of extinction in the wild.


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