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This Bear Really Wants Out of the Zoo

Ben recaptured after 2nd escape from St. Louis Zoo this month
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 25, 2023 11:30 AM CST
This Bear Keeps Busting Out of the Zoo
This 2021 photo shows Ben, the zoo's Andean bear.   (JoEllen Toler/St. Louis Zoo via AP)

St. Louis Zoo officials say they're working to find a way to keep an Andean bear named Ben inside his enclosure after he escaped Thursday for the second time this month. The bear was outside for less than an hour and was found only about 100 feet away from his habitat, zoo officials said in a statement. The 4-year-old bear, who weighs about 300 pounds, was tranquilized and returned to the enclosure, per the AP. Visitors and zoo staff were kept inside zoo buildings during Ben's escapade.

The bear first escaped on Feb. 7 by tearing apart clips that attached stainless-steel mesh to the frame of the enclosure's door. He didn't wander far and was outside for about 90 minutes before being returned. In response, the zoo added stainless-steel clips with 450 pounds of tensile strength to the mesh. But Ben managed to snap those clips on Thursday. Zoo officials say they're working on alternative ways to secure the enclosure and will seek advice from the Association of Zoos & Aquariums' Bear Taxon Advisory Group.

(More bears stories.)

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