There was panic in Nekede community, Owerri, Imo State, when a giant hyena escaped from the Imo State Zoological Garden and Wildlife Park.

The animal was recaptured by wildlife experts about six hours later.

General Manager of the park Francis Abioye confirmed this yesterday.

Abioye, who led the recapture, said there nobody died as the animal was recaptured by experts through the ‘Physical Restricted Method’.

He hinted that the operation lasted six hours. According to him, the animal dug a big underground hole, which allowed it to escape from the cage.

After breaking out from its den, the hyena fled into the community through a broken fence allegedly vandalised by youths in 2019.

He said: “I can confirm to you that a hyena escaped from its cage early this morning through an underground hole it dug; it was later recaptured by experts. The animal was able to escape from the zoo through a vandalised part of the perimeter fence within the conservative area of the zoo.”

Abioye said the operation was aided by armed personnel of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) attached to the zoo. He urged the public to go about their normal business as the situation had been brought under control.

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