OMAHA, Neb. (KCAU) — A cheetah at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium decided to take a walk on the wild side when it escaped its enclosure in the Scott African Grasslands Tuesday.
According to a Facebook post Tuesday afternoon at about 3:40 p.m. officials were alerted that Gretchen, a 5-year-old Cheetah, was outside of her primary enclosure but not in the public area. Nonetheless, members of the public, as well as staff, were taken to a secure location.
“The health and safety of our staff, guests and animals is of the utmost priority to Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium. No person or animal was ever in danger during this incident,” said Dr. Luis Padilla, president and CEO for Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium.
Gretchen was within the view of zoo staff for the entirety of the incident. The Animal Care team walked the 60-pound cheetah into the night enclosure without any incident.
According to the zoo, Gretchen was born at the Lee G. Simmons Wildlife Safari but now resides with her mother and sisters at the Omaha Zoo.
The Zoo said incidents such as this are exactly why zoo staff holds emergency drills for the event. There will be a review of the area to ensure that best safety practices are followed and it is still investigating just how Gretchen was able to make her great escape.