Park boosts enclosure security after leopard escapes

KOTA KINABALU: The Lok Kawi Wildlife Park near here is doubling its efforts to strengthen their animal enclosures to prevent a repeat of escape after a male clouded leopard broke free on Sunday.

Tumba, the leopard, broke open the chain-link fencing of its enclosure in the morning and roamed within the park area.

He was spotted by park officials at about 8.45pm, tranquilised and recaptured.

Sabah Wildlife Department director Augustine Tuuga said although they had daily checks on all the cages and enclosures, it was unfortunate that Tumba managed to break open the chain-link fencing.He said it was fortunate that Boboi, another male clouded leopard sharing the same cage with Tumba, did not follow suit.

“The two clouded leopards have no separate sleeping and exhibit areas unlike many other animals in the park.

“We hope to make a special and separate sleeping area for them if we have the extra funds because the exhibit cage where visitors come and see them, is also their sleeping area now,” he said.

Tuuga, however, added that this may not be comfortable since the animals were used to their own natural habitat.

He said after Tumba was recaptured, he was sent to the animal clinic for health monitoring.

“Boboi is placed elsewhere as repair and reinforcement works are being done.

“They will be placed back in their enclosure once everything is settled, probably by next week,” he said.
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