APPLE VALLEY  (AP) - A Mexican wolf has been shot and killed after it escaped from its enclosure at the Minnesota Zoo.

Zoo spokeswoman Kelly Lessard says the wolf got out of the Northern Trail exhibit and into a bison area at the zoo located in the Minneapolis suburb of Apple Valley.

She says the area was evacuated and the wolf was then shot because it was considered a direct threat to people.

Zoo visitor Mary Woestehoff of Richfield says she saw the wolf running down a path about 10:30 a.m., prompting her to scoop up her 18-month-old daughter. She says she went to an emergency phone to report loose animal.

No people were hurt and the wolf never left the zoo grounds. Zoo officials are investigating how it escaped.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)