Big cats swim out of pens at German zoo

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A flood-hit German town was locked down for several hours Friday over fears that five risky big cats had escaped a local zoo before they were found hiding in their soggy enclosures.

German media report the animals were able to break out after flooding from a storm overnight.

It is reported that a river overflowed and wore down fences, allowing the risky animals a way out.

The zoo is home to around 400 animals, including a Siberian tigers and African lions as well as many more big cats.

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Numerous police, zookeepers, and firefighters are combing the zoo looking for the animals before they wandered into the town.

Hours after the five big cats escaped from their pens at Eifel Zoo in Lünebach, a town in western Germany near the Belgian border, a drone spotted the animals hiding in undergrowth.

According to the zoo's website, it is owned by the Wallpott family and has three permanent employees. A bear was reportedly shot, but it is not clear exactly why.

Friday's escape came two years after another similar case in eastern Germany, when two lions broke out of their cages at the Leipzig zoo.

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