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Woman on mission to save animals causes pandemonium at Lion Country Safari

A woman who wore only an open robe and said she was driving her car on a mission to save the animals blew through the gates at the Lion County Safari attraction in western Palm Beach County on Wednesday, causing brief pandemonium in the Las Pampas section, park officials said.

The woman, whose name wasn't available this morning, sped through the park's first section, past the tortoise, the llamas, the tapirs and the rheas, and was nearly into the second section, inhabited by impala, aoudad and greater kudu, when park workers barricaded the way, said marketing director Jennifer Bethume.

"Her comments were that terrorists were coming to kill the animals," said Bethume, who added that the woman seemed unstable. "She was wearing a robe that wasn't even closed."

Park employees called 911, locked down the park's lion section and followed the woman back to the front gate, hoping to keep her there until sheriff's deputies arrived. Instead, she sped away.

The whole thing was over in 10 minutes. No park employee, visitor or animal was hurt.

"Our team did a great job," Bethume said. "We always say it's wild at Lion Country Safari, but we never anticipated that."

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