(KTVI) — The Saint Louis Zoo was locked down Thursday, and people were sheltering in place after Ben, an Andean bear, escaped from his enclosure.

Nexstar’s KTVI was told that zoo personnel saw Ben hanging around the River’s Edge, not far from his habitat. They were determining a plan to get Ben home or someplace he could not escape.  

All guests were inside buildings and safe. Anyone near the zoo was instructed to stay in their car. 

This is not the first time Ben has escaped his enclosure this month. The bear briefly got out on Feb. 8 for about an hour and a half.

The last time this happened zoo officials did not suspect human fault or tampering was involved in the escape. Rather, this was a Goldilocks-esque case of Ben toying on the steel mash surrounding his outdoor habitat at just the right spot, causing a cable to give way and allowing Ben to make his way out.

Ben was born approximately three years ago at the Queens Zoo and was transferred to the Saint Louis Zoo in July 2021 as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Andean Bear Species Survival Plan (SSP).