Africa: Families hide in toilet as cheetah escapes from its enclosure in safari park
Los Angeles : In a bizarre news, parents visiting a safari park in Port Lympne Reserve in Kent got the shock of their life when a cheetah escaped from its enclosure.
Following the escape of two year old Kitwana from his pen at feeding time, parents were told to “grab their kids and run”.
The Cheetah was on the run for about 25 minutes during which time parents and families tried to hide in gift shops and toilets.
While the park was placed on emergency lockdown, guards disclosed that the big cat climbed a fence during feeding time in a bid to be reunited with his mother.
According to Alice Stittle, who was visiting the tourist attraction with her family and friends, "We were about to go home and were walking back to the entrance when one of the zookeepers ran over in a panic. They told us to grab our kids and run. A cheetah’s escaped and it’s on the loose. There was no room at the gift shop, so we had to hide in the ladies’ toilets. The kids thought it was amazing and kept trying to poke their heads out to see."
Another lady Maggie Jones 38, was heard saying, “It was pretty scary. Word quickly spread that a big cat was on the loose and parents were shooing their children into the shops and even into the toilets. Everyone was looking round nervously in case it was about to jump out on us. They reassured us it was harmless, but none of the mums and dads were taking any chances."
The cheetah escaped from Port Lympne Reserve in Kent at around 4pm on Sunday. But the keepers were successful in able to entice Kitwana back into his enclosure with the help of a chicken.
An investigation has now been launched to determine exactly how the animal escaped.
Animal director Adrian Harland said: "The cheetah was calm and pacing the enclosure fence looking to get back in. Some food was thrown into the enclosure and the cheetah walked back in to get it. No vet intervention was needed. The full escape procedure was run because the safari lorries travel past the enclosure. This particular cheetah was no real threat to our guests. He only climbed out to get back with his mother after having been separated to stop him eating all her dinner. We have secured the enclosures perimeter fencing to ensure that the cheetah cannot climb out again."
Cheetahs are known to be the fastest land mammals on earth and can run at speeds of 112kmh (70mph).