The Dallas Zoo is working with the Dallas Police Department to increase security on the zoo campus following a string of incidents involving several animals and enclosures, zoo officials said.
“On Saturday morning, the animal care team discovered one of our lappet-faced vultures dead in its habitat,” zoo President and CEO Gregg Hudson said during a news conference Monday.
Hudson said “an unusual wound and injuries” were found, which indicated the vulture, Pin, did not die of natural causes.
“Given the recent events that have happened here at the zoo, the clouded leopard in particular, from last Friday, and the suspicious nature of this animal’s death,” the zoo alerted police.
Since the first incidents occurred 11 days ago, the zoo has expanded security camera coverage, it has more than doubled its overnight security presence, it has increased the amount of overnight staff, and it has limited the abilities of some of the animals to go outside overnight, Hudson said.
The Dallas Zoo announced it is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and indictment of a suspect.
Dallas police spokesperson Kristin Lowman noted 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 a clouded leopard, Nova, had escaped her habitat after a section of fencing had been cut. The zoo was closed as officials searched for her.
Nova was discovered safe that night on zoo grounds, but over the course of the search, zoo personnel found the langur monkey 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 whether the enclosure tampering incidents are related to Pin’s death.