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Lions, tigers, bear and jaguar escape from zoo in Germany after flooding

It is not known how the creatures broke free. Photo: PA Wire/PA Images

Heavy rains and floods helped two lions, two tigers, a jaguar and a bear to escape their enclosures at a zoo in western Germany, officials say.

The escape from privately-run Eifel Zoo in Luenebach, near the border with Luxembourg and Belgium, sparked a massive police search, while locals were warned to stay inside.

During the search, police were forced to kill the bear.

Eventually the other animals were located and returned to their cages.

The Eifel zoo in Luenebach. Credit: PA

Officials said that heavy rains had flooded areas of the zoo and damaged the animals' enclosures.

The big cats were all located after several hours with the help of a drone on the grounds of the zoo, and were successfully corralled back into their cages, police spokesman Joerg Raskopp said.

The bear escaped from the 30-hectare (75-acre) zoo grounds into the rolling hills of the Eifel region and had to be shot, Mr Raskopp said.