SAN ANTONIO – Dallas police are investigating a vulture’s “suspicious” death at the Dallas Zoo, just over a week since a clouded leopard escaped its enclosure.
Zoo officials said Sunday the vulture was found dead in the zoo’s Wilds of Africa habitats this weekend, but it’s unclear what happened.
“The circumstances of the death are unusual, and the death does not appear to be from natural causes. Given the recent incidents at the Zoo, we alerted the Dallas Police Department,” the zoo said in a statement.
This weekend, our staff found that one of the endangered vultures in our Wilds of Africa habitats had died. The animal care team is heartbroken over this tremendous loss. Please keep them in your thoughts as they process what has happened. pic.twitter.com/0fqJc8Uk2Y— Dallas Zoo (@DallasZoo) January 22, 2023
Further details surrounding the bird’s death are limited, pending further investigation from police.
“We cannot share many details until Dallas PD has had more time to look into this matter,” the zoo said.
The clouded leopard that escaped its enclosure earlier this month was captured and returned to its habitat. Though, Dallas police said it appeared that someone had cut an opening in its enclosure, which led to its escape.
At last check, no arrests have been made in connection with the incident.
Just two days later, zoo officials also found a similar cut had been made at a habitat for monkeys.
According to The Associated Press, none of the monkeys escaped the enclosure and all were safe. It’s unknown if the incidents are related.
We are thrilled to report we located clouded leopard Nova on-grounds at the Zoo this afternoon at approximated 4:40 p.m. She was located very near the original habitat, and teams were able to safely secure her just before 5:15 p.m. pic.twitter.com/XucvBrQO4V— Dallas Zoo (@DallasZoo) January 13, 2023
In a statement, the zoo said it has increased its on-site security patrols during the overnight hours and installed additional surveillance cameras.
We’ll bring more updates to this story as they become available.