Correction issued below:
ROSWELL, N.M. – A black bear from the Roswell Spring River Zoo escaped her enclosure on Wednesday while her home enclosure back at the Alameda Park Zoo in Alamogordo is being repaired. The bear named Winnie managed to find found a small hole in the fence, pried it open, but for some reason climbed back up the outside and decided to stay put.
Winnie is a transplant along with another black bear because of repairs being made at their home zoo. They are planning on installing a new wall at the facility. The Spring River Zoo says she tried to dig her way out of the bear exhibit on Wednesday before realizing it was concrete down below.
Todd Wildermuth, City of Roswell Public Information Officer said they’re working on securing the space. “The zoo certainly now is taking steps to sure up the enclosure and the fencing and the materials through which this bear got through so that we don’t have this occur again.”
The zoo was closed at the time and zookeepers, Chaves County deputies, and Game & Fish officers responded quickly, tranquilized Winnie, and lowered her back in her enclosure. “I’ve never seen a bear escape out of that since I’ve lived here for 50 years. So we just seem to have some really escape artist bears seem like they want to get out so they are going to do it,” Herrington said.
KRQE News 13 reached out to the Alameda Park Zoo in Alamogordo for details on the sheriff’s claim that Winnie had escaped her pen there as well, but they declined to comment. No word yet on when the bear exhibit will be finished in Alamogordo and when Winnie will be back home.
Correction: In a previous version of this story, KRQE reported that Winnie the bear also escaped from her home at the Alameda Park Zoo in Alamogordo. However, that is incorrect.