Five lions have escaped their enclosure at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo

The five-strong lion pride have since been returned to their grounds at the Mosman site.

Five lions were located outside of their enclosure at Sydney’s Taronga zoo this morning (November 2), prompting a temporary lockdown and large police presence at the Mosman site. The zoo sounded its ‘Code One’ duress alarm at around 7:30am after a construction worker reportedly spotted the lions on the loose, with zoo staff forced into temporary lockdown until the animals were recovered. 

Police were seen inspecting the lion enclosure fence — located around the zoo’s south-east — moments before the alarm was sounded. The pride was said to have remained within the boundaries of the broader site, but roamed free ahead of the zoo’s opening to the public at 9:30am. While it’s not yet known which specific animals escaped, Taronga Zoo’s full lion pride consists of two adults — Maya and Ato — and their five cubs Khari, Luzuko, Malika, Zuri and Ayanna.  

Credit: Nova 96.9

In the hours since the lions’ escape, Taronga Zoo have confirmed that the pride has been returned to their enclosure, describing the incident as an “emergency situation” in a social media statement. The zoo revealed that it followed the “strict safety protocols in place for such an incident,” as all staff “were moved to safe zones.” Thankfully, the zoo reported that no one was injured during the lions’ escape, and that the animals “are now in their exhibit where they are being closely monitored.”


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Taronga Zoo is expected to open as normal to the public this morning. It comes days after the venue announced details for Twilight at Taronga, an annual event that will next take place in February, 2023. The zoo will host a just-announced lineup of musical artists including Daryl Braithwaite, Kate Miller-Heidke and Kasey Chambers, among others. 

The lions’ escape is the latest instance of an animal on the loose in Sydney. In 2020, three baboons — who were travelling to Royal Prince Alfred hospital for medical treatment — escaped their truck en-route, and were later captured after hours meandering around Camperdown streets.