It has been a mystery that has stymied a German zoo since 2007 when three Chilean flamingos were first found beheaded. A culprit was never found. Then, nine birds were killed overnight last Thursday followed by another six on Friday at the Frankfurt Zoo. The birds were missing their heads and some suffered stab wounds.
Veterinarians launched an investigation, according to Sun News to find out if the killings were perpetrated by animals or humans. Officials initially thought people were to blame. But on Tuesday, the Hessian state laboratory in Giessen concluded that the birds “clearly had fallen victim to a fox.”
“With all the concern and grief over the loss of the animals we are relieved that we do not here have to do with cruelty to animals,” Zoo Director Dr. Manfred Niekisch said in a statement.
A fox’s skill as a hunter is “not to be underestimated,” the zoo said, which may explain why neither zookeepers nor police could prevent the attacks. Eventually, a fox was spotted in the flamingo lagoon and despite police giving chase, the fox tore through six birds.
“According to the autopsy report, all animals killed on specific bite injuries. Some of the birds show injuries they have sustained in the run,” the zoo said.
The zoo will install new security measures such as an electric fence to protect the birds, which are valued at about $1,500 each.
h/t Sun News Photo whozoo.org