Residents of the German town Lunebach were asked to keep all doors and windows closed as local police rounded up the roaming animals.
Hours later, authorities said those animals had, in fact, never left their cages at Eifel Zoo in Luenebach, a bear, however, was shot dead after heavy rains swept away the fencing for its enclosure, allowing it to escape.
Thunderstorms had sparked flash floods in the area overnight and completely flooded the private zoo, which is located on a riverbank.
Police in nearby Trier said that all of the escaped animals were believed to still be on the grounds of the zoo. Part of a local motorway had also been blocked off due to high waters. A bear was shot dead, Sky News reported.
Owned by the Wallpott family, the Eifel Zoo in the Rhineland-Palatinate near the border with Luxembourg is home to about 400 animals from 60 species, including a Siberian tiger.
This June 2016 image shows lion Malor (behind) and the mother Lira in their enclosure in the Eifel Zoo, eastern Germany.