Zoo investigates after ‘unusual’ death of vulture, other suspicious incidents

Officials at the Dallas Zoo are trying to find out what happened to one of its beloved animals — a vulture that had lived at the zoo for 33 years.

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The 35-year-old lappet-faced vulture named Pin has died, ABC News reported.

“This weekend, our staff found that one of the endangered vultures in our Wilds of Africa habitats had died,” zoo officials said on social media. “The circumstances of the death are unusual, and the death does not appear to be from natural causes.”

A necropsy labeled the bird’s death as “very suspicious,” BBC News reported.

Zoo officials, in a follow-up post on Tuesday, said that Pin had sired 11 offspring and one “grandkid.” They called his loss “devastating.”

There are only 6,500 lappet-faced vultures worldwide.

Pin’s death comes after several incidents at the zoo that police are investigating.

A clouded leopard named Nova was missing on Jan. 13 which shut down the zoo as officials looked for the cat, USA Today reported. The leopard was found on the zoo grounds. Zoo employees found a tear in the mesh of Nova’s enclosure. They originally thought that Nova escaped but her sister, Luna, was still in the animals’ enclosure.

The next day, officials found that the enclosure surrounding the langur monkeys was also cut. In that case, no animals escaped or were hurt.

Speaking during a news conference about the vulture’s death, zoo president Greg Hudson, said, “If it’s related to anything that happened to the clouded leopard before, it goes from being about malicious and gets really into criminal intent. That is dangerous, and we’re extremely concerned about it,” BBC News reported.

The Dallas Zoo is also offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and indictment, CNN reported.

They have also added additional cameras and increased security during overnight hours, ABC News reported.

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