A giraffe escaped its enclosure at the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo Monday.
A zoo spokesperson tells our affiliate ABC21 a reticulated giraffe got out of its enclosure in the African Journey exhibit. The giraffe was not in a public area of the zoo.
Zookeepers were working on calming the animal and moving it back into its enclosure. It took zoo staff about two hours to get the giraffe back into its enclosure.
"We have radios and were able to notify all zoo staff immediately. That call went out on the radio with a little bit of a panicked tone, as you can imagine," zoo spokesman Joe Smith said. "We had to help lead her the right way by blocking off paths and using vehicles and tarps and people to help to push her to the (giraffe)area."
It is unknown how the giraffe escaped. Regulatory agencies have been notified of the incident, officials said.
The zoo opened for the day at 9 am. Its first day of the season was Saturday.
Zoo officials issued the following statement late Monday afternoon.
As many of you may know, Thabisa decided to have a little adventure today! Thanks for all of your concern, but after realizing our nonpublic parking lot near the giraffe barn wasn't that exciting, she decided to go back into the barn all on her own. She remained on zoo property for the duration of her adventure, and is now resting safely behind the scenes. In all 40 years of having giraffes here at the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo, nothing like this has ever happened, but we will re-evaluate our giraffe exhibit and take extra precautions to ensure the continued safety of our animals and staff.