BOSTON (CBS) – A couple of zebras managed to escape from their exhibit from the Franklin Park Zoo Saturday morning.
Zoo New England confirmed a baby zebra and her mom both managed to slip out from their exhibit around 10:45 a.m.
It was the baby’s first day on exhibit. The zoo says the foal escaped by breaking through part of the electrical fencing surrounding the exhibit.
John Linehan, President and CEO of Zoo New England says the young zebra’s poor depth perception may be to blame.
“Zebras and other prey species don’t have great depth perception. It appears that she ran through an (electrified) wire,” he told WBZ NewsRadio 1030. “It appears that perhaps she was running at full freight and went through this wire and then got through cables that were behind it. And the mom, in desperation, got through as well.”
Web Exclusive: John Linehan’s Full Interview With WBZ NewsRadio 1030
The baby zebra returned on her own to the enclosure about 45 minutes later.
The zebra mom tried to get back in, but couldn’t.
“The mom was trying to get back in with the foal but couldn’t get back in,” said Linehan.
The adult zebra was in a public area, but never left the zoo property.
The zoo was evacuated as a precaution. According to zoo officials, no one was hurt and the public was never in any danger.
Crews managed to safely corral the mom in a non-public area and eventually return her to the zebra barn.
The zoo has since been reopened to the public, but zoo officials are continuing a thorough investigation into the incident.
They say the fence that the zebras escaped from had been tested before the zebras were allowed out onto the exhibit and the zoo says it was fully functional.
The Zebra exhibit has been open since 1999 and there have never been any previous incidents.
According to Zoo New England, the baby zebra is a Grevy’s zebra, the most critically endangered species of zebra.
Including the new foal, which was born on October 11 and doesn’t yet have a name, there are four female and two male Grevy’s zebras at Franklin Park Zoo.