VANSVILLE, Indiana — Three endangered Mexican gray wolves briefly escaped from their exhibit area at Evansville's Mesker Park Zoo before staffers rounded them up.

One adult male and two nearly eight-month-old pups dug out of the enclosure Wednesday afternoon but never got off the zoo's property, zoo marketing director Abigail Adler said.

Staffers knew where the wolves were at all times but zoo visitors were moved into nearby buildings, she told the Evansville Courier & Press ( ).

The pups were quickly coaxed back into their barn with food, while the adult took about an hour to capture, Adler said. The fourth wolf in the exhibit, an adult female, did not escape.

Fences for the animal enclosures are buried deep, but zoo staff will check out the wolves' enclosure before they'll be put back on exhibit, Adler said.

"We're thinking with all the weather related incidents lately ... it kind of loosened up the dirt around the area where they were able to dig out," she said.

Sarah Spelbring said she was at the zoo with her family when she and about 10 other people were told to stay inside a building until the wolves were secured.

After nearly an hour, zoo staff transported the visitors to the front gates via Jeep Wranglers, she said.

"I will say the zoo staff were very calm and professional," Spelbring said.

The Mesker Park Zoo acquired the two adult wolves in November 2012. They are foster parents for the two male pups that arrived at the zoo in July 2013.

The Mexican gray wolves neared extinction in the 1970s, according to the zoo. Their population stands at about 350, with 300 in captivity and the remainder in the wild in Arizona and New Mexico.

Responses to "3 endangered Mexican gray wolves briefly escape from Evansville zoo exhibit area"

  1. Anonymous says:

    I'm so glad that everything was under control none of the wolves escaped out of the zoo.and thanks for the quick work of the staff.good job well done.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Thank God they didn't feel the need to shoot them like in the UK

  3. Unknown says:

    Good thing they didn't get away, they would have been shot.

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