Two lions, two tigers and a jaguar were thought to have escaped their enclosures Friday at a zoo in western Germany, sparking a massive search by police and warnings to residents to stay indoors.
Hours later, authorities said those animals had, in fact, never left their cages.
A bear, however, was shot dead after flooding triggered by heavy rains swept away the fencing for its enclosure, allowing it to escape.
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Andreas Kruppert, the mayor of the town of Arzfeld, said the confusion arose because volunteers using a drone were unable to find the carnivores, prompting fears they had all escaped the zoo in Luenebach, near Germany's borders with Luxembourg and Belgium.
The bear escaped from the 30-hectare (75-acre) zoo grounds into the rolling hills of the Eifel region and was shot.
Western Germany has seen several strong storms in recent days, causing flash floods.