LUDLOW, Mass. (WWLP) – A local zoo has lost an exotic animal, now on the run in eastern Hampden County for days.
The Ludlow Animal Control is informing residents of a missing Eland Antelope that escaped Lupa Zoo. The antelope escaped last week from the zoo after a tree fell and broke the paddock during a recent storm, according to Lupa Zoo. The male stayed whiled the female decided to walk out.
Authorities from Ludlow, Wilbraham, Palmer, and Belchertown have actively been searching for the antelope. It was last seen in Wilbraham near Red Bridge, which is roughly five miles east of the zoo.
“She’s scared. She doesn’t know where she is. So I appeal to everyone, if you see her don’t be afraid. Don’t approach her so she doesn’t get scared. Just call either us or any authority, police department, environmental… we just want to begin her safely home,” said Joan Lupa, President of Lupa Zoo.
There are more than 90 species of antelope, mostly native to Africa and Eurasia. This one is more commonly known as the Common Eland, a large-sized savannah and plains species. Males can stand nearly five feet tall and tip the scale at 2,100 pounds. They’re also extremely fast-built to escape predators in open grassland. This antelope’s species is considered endangered.
The antelope is an herbivore and is likely sustaining itself on vegetation in the area. It is a calm animal that poses no threat to the public.
Residents are asked to not approach the antelope because it will run away. Instead, you are asked to contact your local police department to call for an extraction team. It can also be dangerous to approach because the antelope can be startled and kick like a horse.