Claws for alarm: Wild cat shuts Texas zoo

New York Daily News - - VOICE OF THE PEOPLE - BY PE­TER SBLENDO­RIO

No lyin’ — a Texas zoo was forced to close for the day af­ter a wild moun­tain lion was spot­ted roam­ing around the park.

A se­cu­rity guard dis­cov­ered the stray fe­line in­side the El Paso Zoo at ap­prox­i­mately 6 a.m. lo­cal time Fri­day and alerted au­thor­i­ties, Rick Isa­ias, lead pub­lic af­fairs co­or­di­na­tor for the city of El Paso, con­firmed to the Daily News.

Of­fi­cials have not been able to find the moun­tain lion in the hours since, and the zoo re­mained closed as the search con­tin­ues.

The an­i­mal does not be­long to the park, as the El Paso Zoo does not have any moun­tain lions in its ex­hibits. Isa­ias said it’s pos­si­ble the big cat came from a desert area near the south­west Texas city.

“Safety is our top pri­or­ity and that’s why the zoo is be­ing closed,” Isa­ias told The News.

The zoo has en­listed Texas Parks and Wildlife to as­sist in the search.

No cus­tomers were in­side the zoo when the an­i­mal was spot­ted.

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