Police are investigating the death of an endangered bald eagle at the Dallas Zoo as “suspicious,” authorities said.
Staff found the bird dead in its enclosure on Saturday — the same zoo that made headlines about a week after a clouded leopard escaped after the fence around its enclosure was severed, police said. “Intentional conduct”.
The zoo said staff notified the Dallas Police Department of the condor’s death “in light of recent events.”
The Dallas Zoo said in a statement Saturday that while the cause of the vulture’s death has not been determined, “the circumstances of the death were unusual and do not appear to be from natural causes.”
An autopsy will be performed on the bird, the Dallas Police Department said in a news release.
“The animal care team is heartbroken by this tremendous loss,” the zoo’s statement read.
Over the past week, the Dallas Zoo said it added additional cameras throughout the park and increased on-site security patrols at night.
The zoo added: “We will continue to implement and expand our safety and security measures to whatever level is necessary to ensure the safety of our animals and staff.”
The disappearance of the clouded leopard on Friday prompted the zoo to close as staff and police searched for the missing feline. The animal was later found safe near its original habitat on the zoo grounds.
But that wasn’t the only apparent tampering at the zoo that day, police said.
Zoo workers found similar cuts in the habitat of a monkey called a langur. However, none of the langurs escaped.
Dallas police said at the time that the cutting of two fences would be investigated, but it was unclear whether the two incidents were related.