Rare goat-antelope spotted after Paignton Zoo escape

A rare goat-antelope which escaped from a zoo has been spotted after being on the run for 24 hours.

The young female West Caucasian tur jumped a fence and fled into woods behind Paignton Zoo in Devon on Monday.

The zoo said that keepers had spotted the mountain-dwelling animal near the zoo and are hopeful it will return of its own accord.

“Keepers can see her, she’s on the edge of the wood and close to where she wants to be, which is back with the herd,” said zoo spokesman Phil Knowling.

“We’ve given her access and put down food and now the keepers are sitting back and watching.

“She’s a naturally timid herd animal and there’s no reason to chase her or dart her – we hope she’ll walk back into safety of her own accord.

“It’s a matter of waiting patiently for her to do the right thing in a way that is as stress-free for her and for the keepers.”

Devon and Cornwall Police had warned the public not to approach the “horned beast” as it could be a danger to the public if startled.

The West Caucasian tur is a mountain-dwelling goat-antelope found in the Caucasus Mountains range between the Black Sea and Caspian Sea.

It is listed as an endangered species by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

The wild population is estimated to be between 5,000 and 6,000 individuals.

- Press Association

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