KNOXVILLE (WATE) – A gazelle at Zoo Knoxville made a jailbreak Sunday night.
Fodder the gazelle got out of his enclosure, according to zoo officials, and spent the night in the back part of the zoo. Fodder is the only gazelle at the zoo. The quick-footed 11-year-old was first spotted by park rangers on the zoo pathway around midnight. After hours of searching, the gazelle was finally found in the wooded area of the zoo.
Rangers were able to safely tranquilize the animal before taking him to surgery for a broken jaw.
“Now he’s back and recovering. He’s got pain meds and antibiotics and just recovering,” said Dr. Andrew Cushing with the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine.
Zoo officials believe Fodder somehow became suddenly startled and jumped, managing to get through a gap in the high wire in the upper portion of the containment fence and there was no error in protocol.
It’s not known if the gazelle injured himself during the escape or after he was outside his habitat. He is expected to make a full recovery.