The Dallas Zoo is working with the Dallas Police Department to increase security on the zoo’s campus following a series of incidents involving multiple animals and enclosures, zoo officials said.
“On Saturday morning, the animal care team discovered one of our lappet-faced vultures died in its habitat,” zoo president and CEO Gregg Hudson said at a press conference on Monday.
Hudson said “an unusual wound and wounds” were discovered which indicated the vulture, Pin, did not die of natural causes.
“Given recent events that have occurred here at the zoo, the clouded leopard in particular, since last Friday, and the suspicious nature of the death of this animal, ”alert the police.
Since the first incidents 11 days ago, the zoo has expanded security camera coverage, more than doubled its nighttime security presence, increased the number of night staff and limited capacity. of certain animals to come out. overnight, Hudson said.
The Dallas Zoo has announced it is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and charging of a suspect.
Dallas police spokeswoman Kristin Lowman noted that police are working with US Fish and Wildlife on the investigations.
This is the third incident at the zoo in less than two weeks.
On Friday January 13, zoo staff discovered that a clouded leopard, Nova, had escaped from its habitat after a section of the fence was cut. The zoo was closed as officials searched for her.
Nova was found safe that night on the grounds of the zoo, but during the search zoo staff found the langur monkey the enclosure had also been tampered with. All the langurs were present in the enclosure and none had been injured.
Lowman said part of the ongoing investigations is to determine if the incidents of tampering with the enclosure are related to Pin’s death.