Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Police investigate penguin death at Dortmund Zoo

Two Humboldt penguins are also missing following spate of mysterious deaths and disappearances 

German police said Tuesday they were investigating the death of a penguin in Dortmund Zoo, just weeks after a sea lion was mysteriously found dead in its enclosure.
The zoo told police on Monday that three Humboldt penguins had gone missing, before later finding one of them dead in the flamingo enclosure.
The other two penguins remain missing, said police, adding that they were investigating whether there had been a "theft of the penguins or whether there had been a violation of the animal welfare act."
 Zoo director Dr. Frank Brandstaetter stands in front of the penguin pool in the zoo in Dortmund. Photo: EPA
At the same time, officers have not ruled out the possibility that the birds simply escaped.
The zoo said it would carry out an autopsy on the penguin on Wednesday, but the latest disappearances came just weeks after a sea lion was found dead in its enclosure.

"This is one in a series of similar incidents this year," the zoo said in a statement.

Three pygmy marmosets - the world's smallest monkeys - and two dwarf agoutis - a type of rodent - were stolen in August, the zoo said, adding that it had since installed security around the clock.

After one of the Humboldt penguins has been found dead and two others were missing the police have opened an investigation. Photo: EPA 

In early November however, the 21-year-old sea lion was found dead, with a zoo autopsy finding that it had been severely beaten in the head.

The zoo believe that an intruder beat the animal to death, but police have ruled this out.

Earlier this year three Humboldt penguin chicks were stolen from a Norwegian aquarium in what police believe was a student prank.


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