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Bear That Escaped At Columbus Zoo Had Climbed 'Hot Wire' Trees

Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

An inspection report says a young black bear that escaped its Ohio zoo enclosure by scaling a fence with electrified wires previously climbed trees wrapped with "hot wires" intended to jolt animals as a deterrent.

The Columbus Zoo says the exhibit wasn't open to the public when the female cub scaled a 12.5-foot-high fence with an angled top and got into a viewing area on June 25. Visitors nearby were evacuated as the bear was corralled and sedated. No one was hurt.

A U.S. Department of Agriculture report says it happened as a zookeeper was watching how that cub and another were interacting with their new enclosure. The trees inside it weren't a way out, but staff already had twice added more hot wires to deter the cubs' persistent climbing.