Four wolves were shot dead by park workers and five anaesthetised by officials at scene

The wolves escaped after destroying security installations but never left the zoo
Photograph: VPC Animals Photo/Alamy

Authorities in the south of France have temporarily shut down a zoo after a pack of nine wolves escaped from an enclosure during visiting hours, officials have said.

No humans were injured in the incident last weekend at the Trois Vallées zoo in Montredon-Labessonnié in the south-west Tarn region but four of the wolves were shot dead by park workers and five were anaesthetised by local officials on the scene, Fabien Chollet, a local official, told AFP on Friday.

“Not many people were in the zoo at the time and at no time was the public in immediate danger,” said Chollet. However, the security problem meant the zoo needed to close until the issues were rectified, he added.

The park’s owner, Sauveur Ferrara, said the wolves, which were recent arrivals to the attraction, escaped after destroying security installations but never left the zoo itself.

“Due to the abnormal and dangerous behaviour of some of them, four wolves were sadly killed by the park personnel,” he said, emphasising that members of the public had been evacuated immediately from the park.

In October 2020, the zoo was ordered to close because of security measures but the closure order was later lifted by a court. The park’s social media page said it plans to reopen in mid-January.

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