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Koala escapes enclosure at San Diego Zoo, sits in eucalyptus tree

Koala escapes enclosure at San Diego Zoo, sits in eucalyptus tree
A koala escaped Tuesday morning from the San Diego Zoo's koala enclosure. Above, keeper Lindsay King fills the water container for one of the enclosure's inhabitants in 2013. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

SAN DIEGO -- A male koala, thought to be in the grip of spring fever, escaped from the koala enclosure at the San Diego Zoo on Tuesday and scampered to a tree several dozen yards away.

The koala was discovered missing about 9 a.m. and was soon found in a nearby tree.

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By midafternoon, the 2-year-old koala named Mundu, who was born at the zoo, was still in the eucalyptus tree. Zookeepers were keeping an eye on the animal and plan once the zoo is closed to retrieve him, a spokeswoman said.

"It's that time of year," the spokeswoman said. "He'd like to find a female. This is all about hormones and testing limits."

The zoo has 22 koalas. No zoo patrons were injured in the escape.

Twitter: @LATsandiego

tony.perry@latimes.com

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