Police Investigate “Disturbing” Vulture Death and Leopard Escape at Dallas Zoo

Offering a house for over 2,000 animals, the Dallas Zoo is the most important in Texas, in addition to the oldest—it was based in 1888 with simply two deer and two mountain lions. The zoo can also be one of many essential vacationer sights within the metropolis, conveniently situated simply three miles south of downtown Dallas. However the fashionable vacation spot is now coping with a string of disconcerting incidents, together with the escape of a clouded leopard and the suspicious dying of an endangered vulture. In mild of this, the zoo has been compelled to up its safety protocol whereas police examine the eerie occasions. Learn on to seek out out what we all know, and why officers are calling the circumstances “uncommon.”

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clouded leopard in tree
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Unusual occurrences started on the Dallas Zoo on Jan. 13, when the zoo introduced on Twitter that it was closed for the day “due to a serious situation.”

In a collection of tweets, the zoo confirmed that Nova, an grownup clouded leopard, escaped from her enclosure, prompting a “code blue,” which is used when a non-dangerous animal is out of its habitat. The Dallas Police Division (DPD) was on the scene to assist find the 25-pound animal, and the general public was warned to not have interaction with Nova if she made her manner off-site. Fortunately, she was located, unhurt, close to her authentic habitat that very same afternoon.

Whereas it initially appeared like a contented ending, a prison investigation revealed that the fence in Nova’s enclosure, which she shares along with her sibling, Luna, was tampered with. “Additional investigation decided a reducing instrument was deliberately used to chop a gap within the fencing of the Clouded Leopard’s habitat,” the DPD stated in a Jan. 13 press launch.

Issues bought extra difficult the subsequent day, as zoo workers pointed Dallas police to the langur monkey exhibit, the place they seen “an analogous minimize.” All the langurs had been nonetheless within the habitat and unhurt, and police said that it was “unknown if the 2 incidents are associated.”

This previous weekend, nonetheless, the state of affairs grew to become much more sinister.

lappet-faced-vulture
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Over the weekend, the Dallas Zoo introduced tragic information—an endangered lappet-faced vulture was discovered useless in its “Wilds of Africa” habitat. The vulture, named Pin, was 35 years previous, NBC Information reported.

“The animal care crew is heartbroken over this tremendous loss,” the zoo tweeted on Jan. 22, lower than 10 days after the earlier incidents. “Please hold them in your ideas as they course of what has occurred.”

The thread continued, with officers writing that Pin’s dying was “uncommon” and did not seem like associated to “pure causes.” The zoo confirmed that the DPD was alerted and famous that safety measures had been elevated following the suspicious dying.

“Up to now week, we’ve added additional cameras all through the Zoo and elevated onsite safety patrols through the in a single day hours,” a subsequent tweet reads. “We’ll proceed to implement and develop our security and safety measures to no matter stage essential to hold our animals and workers secure.”

Right now, the state of affairs took yet one more flip, because the zoo confirmed that the vulture’s dying was the results of foul play.

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Zoo officers confirmed that the vulture did have a deadly wound, CBS DFW reported, and police are actually trying to find a suspect who “deliberately killed” the animal.

“I have been within the zoo occupation over 30-plus years, [and I’ve] by no means had a state of affairs like what occurred on Saturday, and albeit, the Friday earlier than final,” Gregg Hudson, CEO and president of Dallas Zoo, stated, per NBC DFW. “It’s very unprecedented and really, very disturbing.”

Officers are trying into present and former workers, NBC DFW reported, and two separate DPD groups are investigating the vulture dying and fence tampering. “They’ve been conducting interviews, not solely with zoo workers, but additionally going over and gathering any type of video surveillance that they might have right here on the zoo,” Kristin Lowman, of the DPD, stated throughout a press convention. “As well as, we contacted the U.S. Fish and Wildlife [Service], they’re now helping us on this investigation.”

gavel and handcuffs
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In response to CBS DFW, the Dallas Zoo is providing a $10,000 reward for data that results in an arrest and indictment.

“We’re extraordinarily involved about it, that is why we have referred to as in all of the sources that we will,” Hudson stated. “We will pull out something we will do to have the ability to remedy this and to nip it within the bud as rapidly as doable.”

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