An Andean bear escaped his enclosure at the St. Louis Zoo on Thursday, the second time this month he has broken out of his habitat.
The 4-year-old bear, Ben, fled the outdoor enclosure at 1 p.m., the zoo said in a news release. Guests and staff members were moved indoors, and Ben was secured roughly 50 minutes later, the zoo said.
Zoo Director Michael Macek, who described Ben as "curious," said he tore through stainless steel clips that had been used to help secure his enclosure after an escape on Feb. 7, NBC affiliate KSDK of St. Louis reported.
The cargo clips are rated to 450 pounds tensile strength, "yet that wasn't enough for Ben," the release said.
During the earlier escape, Ben was spotted outside his habitat in the zoo's River's Edge area at 8 a.m., the zoo said in a news release at the time.
"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 release said.
At 9:40 a.m., he had been tranquilized and taken to an indoor holding area, the release said.
The zoo said Thursday it would consult with an advisory group in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to try to determine alternative methods to secure Ben's habitat.