With a California safari park closed to crowds, officials believe mountain lions have been sneaking in and killing gazelles
San Diego Zoo Safari Park has lost several animals to likely mountain lion attacks since park doors have been closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mountain lions have always inhabited areas surrounding the North County zoo, but since there are no visitors, the big cats have been getting bolder and venturing closer to the park. In fact, several gazelles have likely been killed by the big cats.
"We have had a couple animals lost, that we believe were from mountain lions," Steve Metzler, the mammal curator at the park, told ABC 10 News.
To deter the mountain lions, the zoo has implemented some temporary measures, including motion-sensitive sprinklers, motion-sensitive flood lights, and trail cameras to discourage the big cats from entering the zoo property.
"Additional measures taken include moving vulnerable animal species to more protected areas, adding new fences, increasing the height of some fence lines and increasing patrols by security personnel," a zoo spokesperson added.