CHIPPEWA FALLS (WKOW) -- The Irvine Park Zoo in Chippewa Falls was vandalized in an attempt to release the animals.
Vandals cut locks and pried open fences, prompting officials to close the park to vehicle traffic on Wednesday.
Chippewa Falls Parks and Recreation Director William Faherty says the overnight release of the animals was intentional. As of Wednesday afternoon, most of them were back in the enclosures. A porcupine and two other small animals were missing. One animal was in a tree.
At 6:15 a.m. Wednesday, a passerby found the gate to the buffalo exhibit was open. The eight buffalo had wandered as far as the beer dens before returning to their area to feed. They were secured after that.
The lower fences for the porcupines and coatimundi were also damaged.