DALLAS, TX (CNN) — Police are investigating the death of an endangered vulture at the Dallas Zoo as “suspicious,” authorities said.
Staff found the bird dead in the enclosure on Saturday – about a week after the same zoo made headlines about a clouded leopard that escaped after the fence around its enclosure was cut in what police called a “deliberate act.”
The zoo said that “given recent incidents,” staff have alerted the Dallas Police Department to the vulture’s death.
While the vulture’s cause of death has not been determined, “the circumstances of death are unusual and death does not appear to have occurred from natural causes,” the Dallas Zoo said in a statement Saturday.
An autopsy will be performed on the bird, the Dallas police said in a statement.
“The animal care team is heartbroken at this huge loss,” the zoo said in a statement.
Last week, the Dallas Zoo said it had installed additional cameras throughout the property and stepped up patrols at night.
“We will continue to implement and expand our security measures to whatever level is necessary to ensure the safety of our animals and staff,” the zoo added.
The clouded leopard’s disappearance last Friday prompted the zoo to close as workers and police searched for the missing feline. The animal was later found safe near its original habitat on the zoo grounds.
This was not the only apparent tampering with the zoo that day, police said.
Zookeepers found a similar cut in the habitat of a langur monkey. However, none of the langurs managed to escape.
Dallas police said at the time that the cutting of both fences would be investigated, although it was not known if the two incidents were related.
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