Polar bears are easy to love, but it turns out they are also easy to fear when they're not where you expect them to be.
The Cincinnati Zoo went into lockdown Wednesday when a female polar bear escaped an enclosed area. Fortunately, the situation was resolved rather quickly, and all animals and people emerged unscathed.
The zoo wrote in a Facebook post, "Our female polar bear Berit breached a behind the scenes containment area."
The zoo clarified that she "was never loose in the zoo," adding that "the situation is ongoing but under control. There is no risk to staff or visitors in the park."
Zoo management decided to move visitors indoors, but gave clearance for everyone to leave if they wanted to. In a Facebook comment, the zoo clarified that visitors were barred from entering while the polar bear was still out of her exhibit.
A representative for the zoo, Thane Maynard, told NBC affiliate WLWT that Berit left her exhibit and got into a back hallway with tight security. The polar bear never managed to actually escape the exhibit building.
Thane said that the zoo personnel "will have a very big ongoing debriefing situation to see what door got opened and how, to make sure that's secure in the future."
As one Facebook user aptly noted, "A tough situation for the staff, I'm sure. All the visitors can do is grin and Berit."
We couldn't have said it better ourselves.
Meanwhile, Twitter users shared how they were experiencing the lockdown.
Less than two hours after updating the public via social media about the polar bear situation, the Cincinnati Zoo confirmed that it had reopened, and that the "polar bears are contained and unharmed."
The tweet added, "Thank you for your patience."
Phew, now Berit can go back to doing what she just does best: swimming and looking majestic.