El Paso Zoo on lockdown after mountain lion wonders inside

Search underway for stray mountain lion in southcentral El Paso Friday, Oct. 12, 2018.

A stray mountain lion wandered inside the El Paso Zoo in Texas.

It happened around 6 a.m. Friday.

Texas Game Wardens are armed with guns that shoot tranquilizer darts. The zoo's tranquilizer team is also searching for the wild animal.

El Paso Zoo Director Steve Marshall said the mountain lion was spotted by security at the zoo.

The zoo does not have mountain lions. Marshall said the lion is a stray.

A spokesperson for the El Paso Zoo said the zoo is on lockdown, and public safety is the number one concern.

Ray Spears, Captain of Game Warden of Texas Parks and Wildlife, said the public should be vigilant. He advises people to bring in their pets and not let children play outside until further notice.

Search efforts to find the lion continue as of 9 p.m.

Spears asks the public to immediately call 911 if they spot the lion.

"If he's hiding still in the zoo, he's going to wait until it's dark to go out," said Cesar Mendez, the Superintendent of Franklin Mountains State Park.

Experts say if you are attacked by a mountain lion the best thing to do is to fight back, using any weapon you can get and try to remain standing, since a mountain lion is likely to go for the head or neck.

"I hope no one is hurt including the mountain lion," said Matthew Adams of downtown El Paso.

This is a developing story. We will update you as information becomes available.

In 2011, a stray mountain lion made its way to the downtown and central El Paso area.

The lion made its way into the H&H Car Wash along Yandell Drive. before it was shot dead.

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