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Lioness escapes tourist attraction

December 16, 1997

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) _ A lion escaped a private zoo in a popular tourist area Monday as handlers tried to move it from a cage flooded by heavy rains.

The full-grown female African lion was last seen running toward a wooded area behind JungleLand, said sheriff’s spokesman Lt. July Rivers.

``They tried to tranquilize it but it didn’t work,″ Rivers said.

JungleLand is located in the heart of a busy tourist district, not far from Walt Disney World.

JungleLand spokeswoman Cynthia Potter said Monday night that it would be in the animal’s nature to ``take advantage of the night and sleep.″

``We have the perimeter surrounded and secured at this point,″ she said.

Agents with the Game and Freshwater Fish Commission were sent to Jungleland to help find the lioness.

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