The El Paso Zoo remains closed after a mountain lion was spotted at the facility early Friday morning.
Police say zoo employees discovered the feline just after 6 a.m. The feline was not part of any of the zoo’s exhibits, according to officials.
“This is not our mountain lion,” Zoo Director Steve Marshall confirms.
Police and Texas Parks and Wildlife officers searched the area for about five hours, but were ultimately unable to locate the cat.
“We did a complete and thorough search,” Ray Spears of Texas Parks and Wildlife said. “Hopefully it’s back up in the mountains.”
According to Spears, Texas Parks and Wildlife will monitor the area for the next few days, and will tranquilize and remove the mountain lion if found.
Spears says the public shouldn’t be afraid of seeing the mountain lion, but still encourages residents to be cautious.
“I don’t want the public to be scared,” he said. “I want the public to be vigilant and aware of their surroundings.”
Spears recommends the public to bring their pets indoors, be aware of outside surroundings, and call 911 if they see the mountain lion.
The El Paso Zoo is expected to reopen Saturday at 9:30 a.m.