(KTVI) – The Saint Louis Zoo has reopened following a lockdown Thursday after Ben, an Andean bear, escaped from his enclosure.
Ben was found hanging around the River’s Edge, not far from his habitat. Zoo personnel were determining a plan to get Ben home, or into an enclosure he cannot escape.
After the bear was determined to be missing, zoo guests were told to shelter in place or stay in their vehicles.
This is not the first time Ben has escaped his enclosure this month. The bear briefly got out on Feb. 8 for about an hour and a half.
The last time this happened, zoo officials did not suspect human fault or tampering was involved in the escape, but rather a Goldilocks-esque case of Ben toying on the steel mash surrounding his outdoor habitat at just the right spot, causing a cable to give way and allowing Ben to make his way out.
Ben was born approximately three years ago at the Queens Zoo and was transferred to the Saint Louis Zoo in July 2021 as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Andean Bear Species Survival Plan (SSP).