The Carnage Continues
In September I discussed a suspicious tendency for German celebrity animals to die in mysterious and/or bizarre ways, and speculated that there might be a serial killer at work. Apparently my post spooked the culprit into fleeing for the US, because just a few days later a newborn panda cub in Washington, DC was, you guessed it, found mysteriously dead. An alert reader sent me the story:
Zoo officials did not know what killed the cub, which had appeared to be healthy, but a necropsy was performed on Sunday afternoon, said the zoo’s chief veterinarian, Dr. Suzan Murray.
Zookeepers realized something was wrong on Sunday morning when Mei Xiang, the cub’s mother, issued a distressed “honking” noise, officials said. It took an hour to retrieve the cub, and the workers found it unresponsive. Veterinarians tried to revive the cub, performing lifesaving measures including CPR. But they pronounced the cub dead six minutes after retrieving it from the pen.
…the cub was in healthy condition, with no outward sign of trauma or infection…
Sound familiar? Well, apparently the heat was too much in DC after that, because the perpetrator seems to have returned to Germany. Just a couple of weeks ago, six meerkats at the Frankfurt Zoo were trapped and killed when a section of their underground tunnel system collapsed. (“How the collapse occurred is still unknown.”) And just today, another loyal reader sent me a story that’s almost too much to believe. There’s no English translation, but I’ll do my best:
Two kangaroos, an adult female and her daughter, have been shot dead at a zoo in Herborn [another Hessian city just an hour from Frankfurt — coincidence?] Wolfgang Rades, the director of the zoo, discovered them at 8:30 AM in their enclosure. “They displayed clear bullet wounds, clean shots to the chest. It must have been a practiced shooter,” he said.
The police and zoo management agree that the perpetrator must have snuck into the zoo at night. A sniper firing from outside the zoo can be ruled out because of the thick vegetation around the fence. A postmortem at the Gießen Forensic Institute should provide further clues to the murder weapon.
“This was a targeted, cowardly assassination of innocent animals,” said Rades. Supporters of the zoo have offered a 1,000 Euro reward for any tips.
I’m not sure a thousand Euros is going to cut it, given how long this killer has already eluded justice. As another reader asked:
Can we leave it to the animals themselves? That seems to be the case at one German zoo where a fox and a boar took it upon themselves to help a kangaroo escape.
Here’s the story she was referring to:
Aided by a fox and a wild boar, three kangaroos got through two fences and hopped to freedom from a wildlife park in Germany. They traveled 15 kilometers before a police posse closed in on them…
Those kangaroos are looking pretty smart right now. Did they know something we didn’t?