Chennai: The stripped hyena which escaped from its enclosure at the Arignar Anna Zoological Park at Vandalur here was captured by the officials early this morning.
It was one among the many animals that were brought to the zoo a few days ago from Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Garden (SCZG) in Mysuru as part of an exchange programme. Sources said the hyena was let in to the enclosure a few days back and escaped last evening.
Speaking to ‘News Today’, a zoo official said the incident took place because of transit anxiety.
“Usually animals will be under stress after being transported and there will be a quarantine period only after which they will be let into the enclosure. These animals are born and brought up in the zoo environment and do not know how to escape out of it,” he said.
He added as soon as it was found that the animal was missing, it was immediately intimated to the officials and the search operation began. “We were confident that the animal could not have gone out of the Zoo. Four teams were involved in the search operation which was monitored by Director S Yuvaraj and Deputy Director Sudha Ramen. Finally the hyena was caught near the lion tailed macaque enclosure,” the official added.
The official said a cage with meat was kept to lure the animal and tranquiliser was also used a precaution.
Talking about the security in the zoo, he said there are 41 CCTV cameras which are on constant vigil and expert animal trainers and forest officials are also there to handle any emergency. A zoo veterinary doctor said the animal is young and has recovered well and is active now.
During the exchange programme which happened recently, a pair of white tigers, Indian gaur (male), lion-tailed macaque (male) and a pair of Nilgiri langurs from here were sent to SCZG Mysuru.
The animals received from SCZG are: two pairs of striped hyena, one male Indian gaur, a pair of Lady Amherst pheasant, jackal, golden pheasant, Sarus cane, black swan, Eclectus Parrot.
RESIDENTS IN FEAR
As the news of hyena’s escape spread last night, residents in areas close to the zoo- Vandalur, Urapakkam and Iyencherry- were gripped in fear. They heaved a sigh of relief only this morning after it emerged that the animal was caught.