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Last Updated: Saturday, 17 September 2005, 15:00 GMT 16:00 UK
Zoo drama after animal escapes
Collared peccary - courtesy of Paignton Zoo
The peccary can be dangerous when it is cornered
Visitors to Paignton Zoo fled to safety inside the attraction's buildings after one of the zoo's animals escaped.

The female peccary, a member of the pig family, escaped on Saturday afternoon and visitors were contained while a vet was called.

After 40 minutes the tusked creature, which is classified as one of the zoo's dangerous animals, was cornered in the elephant enclosure.

A vet shot it with a tranquilliser dart and it is now recovering.

When pigs attack

An investigation has started into how it escaped.

The animal is also known as a Javelina because of its razor-sharp tusks.

It was one of two which had arrived at the zoo on Thursday and it was the first time it had been in its enclosure.

Duty manager Christopher Wreford-Brown said that zoo staff train for this kind of emergency.

"But it has never happened in the 10 years I have been here," he said.

"They can be dangerous, they can attack when cornered so the vet was called and the visitors were asked to stay inside while it was caught."

One visitor, Tim Scofield, who was at the zoo with his wife and two young children said: "We were all ushered into the restaurant and the shop."

Visitors have now been allowed back into the zoo.


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