Bear escapes from St Louis zoo for the second time this month

An Andean bear escaped from its enclosure at the St Louis Zoo for the second time this month, according to officials.

The 280-pound bear, whose name is Ben, was found 100 ft from its habitat at the zoo on a public path, shortly after getting free, per a report in the St Louis Post-Dispatch.

Visitors to the zoo were taken inside buildings until zoo staff were able to tranquillize the bear.

Earlier this month, the bear managed to tear apart clips that attach stainless steel mesh to the frame of the enclosure door, said St Louis Zoo director Michael Macek.

Following that incident zoo staff added stainless steel zip-tie attachments used on cargo ships to tie down cargo, but the bear proved too much for them.

“We thought they would work, but he managed to snap the clips again,” he said. “We’re obviously looking at other methods to secure the mesh to the frame.”

After his first escape, the bear was found pacing near the enclosure trying to get back in, officials said. He was also tranquillized on that occasion and taken back to his habitat.

Zoo officials plan to seek the advice of a bear advisory group administered by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

The bear was born 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.