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Dallas Zoo alerts police after ‘unusual’ death of endangered vulture

The death comes just over a week after two habitats were apparently cut open, allowing a clouded leopard to get loose.

By Jamie Landers

A pair of Dallas police vehicles sit at an entrance to the Dallas Zoo on Jan. 13 after a clouded leopard got out of its habitat
A pair of Dallas police vehicles sit at an entrance to the Dallas Zoo on Jan. 13 after a clouded leopard got out of its habitat. / Photo Credit: Shakfat Anowar / ASSOCIATED PRESS

The Dallas Zoo said it has alerted police to look into the “unusual” circumstances of an endangered vulture found dead over the weekend.

Zoo spokeswoman Kari Streiber said that the death does “not appear to be from natural causes,” but that the zoo can’t share additional details until police have had more time to investigate.

“The animal care team is heartbroken over this tremendous loss,” she said.

Police confirmed they are investigating the death as suspicious and said a necropsy is going to be conducted on the bird.


The death comes just over a week after an hours-long search for a missing clouded leopard spurred a criminal investigation. Police believe the cat’s enclosure was intentionally cut open, along with a habitat for langur monkeys.

“In the past week, we have added additional cameras throughout the zoo and increased on-site security patrols during the overnight hours,” Streiber said. “We will continue to implement and expand our safety and security measures to whatever level necessary to keep our animals and staff safe.”

No additional information was immediately available.

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