Bears at Roswell zoo attempt great escape

ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE) – Some visitors to a New Mexico zoo got a little more than they bargained for Thursday when startled spectators had to call for help when they saw two bears climbing out of their exhibit.

Visitors at the Spring River Park and Zoo in Roswell were a little bit on edge after the incident.

Zoo Director Elaine Mayfield explained that it all started at about 2 p.m. when a couple ran into the office saying, a bear was getting out of its enclosure.

Mayfield says she thinks it was Ursula, one the zoo’s two bear cubs, who climbed on top of the walls surrounding her pen and could have hopped right down into the public areas.

“She just moved all over the place. And when she’d come up to these edges, we’d kind of shoo her back because we were afraid she might fall, that was our biggest concern,” Mayfield said.

Ursula and Sierra were playing in their moat which is where Mayfield says the escape began.

Someone accidentally left the water running, filling up the moat high enough that the cubs could swim across to the fence to climb it.

Sierra jumped back into the water and Ursula probably wished she had too.

“Most animals in the zoo, when they get out, they want back in. That’s home and that’s security. She finally climbed onto the middle ledge on this back wall behind me and jumped that last ten feet and jumped in,” said Mayfield.

Both cubs are locked up indoors behind their exhibit Thursday night.

“We decided we’d all sleep better tonight if they’re enclosed,” Mayfield said.

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