The Audubon Zoo in New Orleans was forced to close on Saturday after a jaguar escaped its habitat and killed six other zoo animals.
The zoo was closed on Saturday as officials tried to discover how the feline escaped, and grief counsellors were brought in for traumatised staff.
The jaguar killed four alpacas, one emu and a fox before a team of veterinarians managed to coral and sedate it, CNN reported.
It happened before the zoo was open to the public.
In this photo taken August 17, 2011, a jaguar walks in a public zoo.
In a Facebook post in February, the zoo called Valerio the jaguar a "big lovable goofball" and encouraged visitors to see him in its "Jaguar Jungle" exhibit. It was not immediately clear how the animal escaped.
The jaguar's attack on other animals was likely territorial, rather than driven by a desire to hunt for food, officials said.
It's not the first time an animal has escaped in Audubon Zoo.
'We receive inspections a few times a year from Association of Zoos and Aquariums since 1981, ' Forman said.
He was doing what jaguars do.
No explanation has been given for the jaguar's escape, but the zoo said an "after-action review" is taking place, as well as an investigation into how the jaguar escaped.
"This is a sad day for the Audubon family including our staff, volunteers, supporters and our community". "This is by far the biggest incident, the biggest magnitude, the biggest tragedy we've had". So I think statistically there's nothing to worry about the safety of coming to the zoo.
But he said staff were devastated about the killed animals. "So, we have a responsibility to protect them".
'Nothing's going to happen to the jaguar itself, ' he said.