An escaped clouded leopard that forced the closure of Texas’ largest zoo has been found hours after it went missing.
After an extensive police search, Nova was found not far from her enclosure at the Dallas Zoo.
“Initial indications are that she was not injured,” the zoo said in a statement.
“She is being assessed by our veterinary staff. We will provide a further update on her condition tomorrow.”
The announcement came about nine hours after the zoo said it was closed due to “serious circumstances.”
Its subsequent call for help in finding the elusive cat attracted millions of views on Twitter as locals were warned to keep their pet indoors if its whereabouts were unknown.
However, officials at the zoo, which is also the oldest in Texas, have always maintained that Nova did not extend beyond its 106-acre grounds.
Harrison Edell, the zoo’s executive vice president for animal care and conservation, told ABC News that Nova likely escaped through a tear in the mesh around the enclosure, where Luna’s sister lives.
Clouded leopards are wild cats native to Southeast Asia and China.
They weigh around 20-25 lbs (9-11 kg) and Mr Edel said they posed no threat.
“If anything, she was really nervous and scared of people,” he added.
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Nova is not the first person to escape from a zoo.
In 2004, a 340-pound (154-kilogram) gorilla named Jabari jumped out of his enclosure and went on a rampage in the park, injuring three people before being shot dead by police.