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Bear escapes from his enclosure at the St. Louis Zoo — again

It marks the second time this month that Ben has made a getaway.
/ Source: TODAY

Curiosity killed the cat. It’s also wreaked havoc with the bear.

A 4-year-old Andean bear at the Saint Louis Zoo named Ben was returned to the facility Feb. 23 after it escaped for the second time this month.

“Around 1 o’clock today, Ben once again got out of his outdoor habitat. The Zoo Animal Emergency Response protocol was implemented and various team members responded accordingly,” the zoo wrote on its Facebook page.

“Guests and staff on grounds were quickly escorted into various indoor facilities while team members secured Ben, which took approximately 50 minutes from start to finish.”

Zoo officials say Ben is the rare type of bear who has been able to sneak away.

“The habitat we’ve had since 2016, we have not had a bear escape from that habitat ever,” zoo director Michael Macek told St. Louis NBC affiliate KSDK. “He’s just very curious.”

Curious, indeed. On Feb. 7, Ben made his first escape before he was apprehended one hour, 40 minutes after he broke free.

“It’s important that we let you know that we have reviewed the evidence available from yesterday morning and we have no reason to believe that there was any human fault or tampering that led to the bear’s escape out of its outdoor habitat,” the zoo said in a statement at the time.

“Instead, it would appear that the very curious bear meddled with the steel mesh in just the right spot of the outdoor habitat, causing a cable to give way, which then allowed the bear to work his way out.”

The zoo said in its Facebook post that after the animal’s initial escape, it added “stainless steel cargo clips rated at 450 pounds tensile strength, yet that wasn’t enough for Ben.”