Statement from Roger Williams Park Zoo

Statement from Roger Williams Park Zoo

Tuesday, May 15, 2018
Roger Williams Park Zoo staff train regularly on best practices for any type of emergency including the escape of large and dangerous animals.

PROVIDENCE, RI – An incident occurred at Roger Williams Park Zoo this morning at approximately 9:05 am when the takin escaped its enclosure.  The issue was resolved by 9:55 am, and the Zoo opened at 10:15 am.  The incident began when the veterinary team approached the takin for a routine hoof procedure.  The animal charged the heavy reinforced doors multiple times finally breaking through it leading him out of the enclosure and onto Zoo grounds.

The recapture team immediately activated and was prepared with tranquilizer equipment and rifles as back-up.  The animal was within view of the members of the recapture team at all times, was sedated successfully, and transported back to his enclosure.  The takin, Har-Lee, will be off exhibit for the remainder of the day but is doing fine.

The Providence Police and emergency response teams were notified.

Two staff, one animal keeper and one veterinary intern, were injured.  The injuries are not life-threatening, and both staff were treated on the scene by EMTs. 

As an accredited Association of Zoos and Aquariums zoo, all Roger Williams Park Zoo staff train regularly on best practices for any type of emergency including the escape of large and dangerous animals.

The takin is an animal native to the mountainous regions of the Himalayan Mountains and western China, thriving at an altitude of 6,500 to 15,000 feet. The animal grows to between 5 and 7.5 feet long.  Males weigh up to 880 pounds, while females mature to 550 pounds. The International Union for Conservation of Nature categorizes the takin as vulnerable, which means the animal could become endangered due to habitat loss and destruction of their natural home.  

Roger Williams Park Zoo, one of the oldest in the nation, is Rhode Island’s number one outdoor family and tourist attraction and is a leader in conservation efforts undertaken by a zoo of its size. The Zoo has received numerous awards for environmental education, and conservation work done locally and around the world, caring for species that without human intervention would face certain extinction.  Roger Williams Park Zoo is supported and managed by the Rhode Island Zoological Society and is owned by the City of Providence.