Indiana man identified in connection with Ochsner Park Zoo break-in

BARABOO, Wis. — Baraboo police have identified a man who they said broke into the Ochsner Park Zoo and let animals loose.

Police allege that Aaron Wayne Hovis, 34, of West Lafayette, Ind. damaged locks on multiple animal exhibits at the zoo and damaged the door of another on June 7. Two river otters and two great-horned owls escaped from their enclosures during the incident.

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The otters were later spotted by a pair of kayakers and were captured and returned to safety. A male owl, Jerry, was also found and captured. A female owl, Linda, is still loose but remains in the area near the zoo.

Hovis faces charges of causing damage to animal enclosures, and additional charges could be added pending a review from the Sauk County District Attorney’s Office.