Several years ago, I worked at a zoo/wildlife rehab center. It was extremely common for folks to drop off unwanted animals at the zoo. These included such domestic animals as dogs, cats, sheep, goats, pigs, ferrets, rats, and rabbits, and more exotic species such as white tail deer, seagulls, and crows. Some of the animals would be left in a carrier or tied up at the entrance, while others, especially dogs, cats, rabbits, chickens, and ducks, would just be turned loose. Why anyone would think this was an acceptable means to dispose of their pet is beyond me. I believe with the exotics, folks were afraid they would get in trouble for possessing the animal against state law, but I don’t know the reasoning for disposing of the domestic animals this way.
We also had numerous coyotes break in and try to take up residency in our coyote enclosure. This presented a problem because it was a bit tricky to distinguish between our vaccinated coyotes and the feral ones.
The largest animal to ever break in was a female moose who took up temporary residency in our waterfowl exhibit, along with her newborn calf. This pair was relocated to a more remote region, but they were fun to watch while they were there.
The break-in I liked best, was a raccoon. I was up feeding the eagles one day, and found a raccoon in their outer exhibit. I assumed it was one of ours, who’d somehow managed to escape, and went over, cornered it, and then picked it up, and headed to the raccoon exhibit. While trying to get in the exhibit with my arm full of raccoon and keys, the raccoon managed to get away from me. This turned out to be a good thing, however, because as it turned out, this wasn’t one of ours. I’m assuming it was once somebody’s pet, as it let me pick it up, but that’s the last time I was ever foolish enough to attempt something like that.