Local residents were advised to stay in their homes and to call the police if they saw the animals.
Police have reportedly shot a bear dead and are now searching for two lions, two tigers and a jaguar that broke out of their cages at a zoo in western Germany.
The Eifel Zoo in Lünebach, Germany, was heavily flooded after a storm that also damaged fences, allowing the animals to leave their enclosures, authorities said.
It is unclear what circumstances lead to the bear's death.
It is reported that a river overflowed and wore down fences, allowing the risky animals a way out.
Vets are said to be on sight as well as police and firefighters. A massive hunt is under way for the five big cats.More news: Trade tariffs: United Kingdom must stand up to 'bully' Trump - Labour
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The animals included two lions, two tigers, a bear and a jaguar, according to several news reports. At the zoo, which is located on a riverbank, the water was knee-high.
Most were found on the grounds of the zoo and returned to their cages.
Friday's great escape comes two years after two lions broke out of their cages at a zoo in Leipzig in eastern Germany.
"That enabled multiple animals to escape". One was shot dead and the other recaptured.
In the end, a drone sighted the remaining escapees inside the zoo compound.