Mary The Escaped Antelope Returns To Lupa Zoo After Five Weeks On The Lam

Photo: Hampden County Sheriff's Department

LUDLOW, Mass (WBZNewsRadio) - She'd been on the lam for five weeks and this weekend, Mary, the Eland Antelope has returned to her home at Lupa Zoo.

Mary was reported missing back on April 1, after a storm damaged her fenced enclosure at the zoo. Over the last month or so, the search for Mary has been extensive. The Hampden County Sheriff's Office's special teams, Ludlow Police, Wilbraham Police, Palmer Police, the USDA, the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, Massachusetts Environmental police and Dr. Peter Brewer of the Southwick zoo, all combed through the area.

Mary's time on the run came to an end on Saturday night. Wally Lupa, the director of the facility development and animal care at the zoo said they were able to wrangle the large animal using a 100-foot rope and a trailer, without any problem. Ahead of being captured, Mary was seen hanging out with several local deer, presumably friends she made during her adventure.

“I’m incredibly pleased this story has a happy ending, and that is due to the entire Lupa Zoo staff working tirelessly to bring her home safely,” said Sheriff Nick Cocchi. “Wally mostly slept in his car over the past five weeks as he tried everything imaginable to bring Mary home. He showed amazing compassion and I’m proud of my team and the other law enforcement agencies who all worked together to get to this day.”

“I’m happy we didn’t have to tranquilize her, and she looks great. She was reunited with her mate this morning and they will slowly be getting back to normal,” Lupa said. “We wouldn’t have been able to get to this day without the help of Sheriff Cocchi and the other departments who jumped in to help. I’m incredibly grateful for everyone I’ve met over the course of this journey.”

The cow-like Eland Antelope is actually the world's largest antelope species and has incredibly endurance. They have the ability to maintain a trot almost indefinitely and can jump a four-foot fence from a standstill.

While the animal is not considered endangered, it's population has declined in recent years due to hunting as well as human expansion in the animals natural habitat.

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