LUDLOW, Mass. (WWLP) – The missing Eland Antelope that escaped the Lupa Zoo in April has finally been captured.
According to Joan Lupa, the President of Lupa Zoo, and the Ludlow Police Department, Mary the antelope was captured around 11:45 p.m. on Saturday and is expected to be brought back to Lupa Zoo around 10:30 a.m. on Sunday. Mary was found between Miller and Chapman Street near Eversource.
“Last night I had an eye on her near the solar panels by the Mass Pike and Chapin and Miller
Streets, and was able to bring her in with a live camera, a 100-foot rope, and a trailer,” said Wally
Lupa, the director of facility development and animal care for the Lupa Zoo in a news release sent to 22News from the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department. “She walked right into the trailer and to say I was relieved would be an understatement.”
The antelope escaped on April 1st from the zoo after a tree fell and broke the paddock during a recent storm, according to Lupa Zoo. The male stayed while the female decided to walk out. Authorities from Ludlow, Wilbraham, Palmer, and Belchertown have actively been searching for the antelope since then.
“I’m incredibly pleased this story has a happy ending, and that is due to the entire Lupa Zoo staff
working tirelessly to bring her home safely,” said Sheriff Nick Cocchi. “Wally mostly slept in his
car over the past five weeks as he tried everything imaginable to bring Mary home. He showed
amazing compassion and I’m proud of my team and the other law enforcement agencies who all
worked together to get to this day.”
Lupa said Mary was born with one horn as a defect and is of a species known for having great
eyesight and hearing, only needing to sleep around ten minutes at a time, and being resilient to
tranquilizers. But, it was patience and determination that did the trick.
“I’m happy we didn’t have to tranquilize her, and she looks great. She was reunited with her
mate this morning and they will slowly be getting back to normal,” Lupa said. “We wouldn’t have
been able to get to this day without the help of Sheriff Cocchi and the other departments who
jumped in to help. I’m incredibly grateful for everyone I’ve met over the course of this journey.”
When Mary was spotted on Saturday night before being captured, she was with several deer
who she made friends with along the way.