Jackson Zoo officials have announced that a pack of feral dogs killed a gazelle and five springbok. Two geese were also hurt. The following is a verbatim description of the incident from the zoo:
Zoo staff discovered the animals had been attacked early Friday morning, and began to take measures of contacting Animal Control and catching the dogs before they attacked any other animals or escaped off property. The Zoo captured four of the five feral dogs believed to be involved in the accident. One dog escaped the premises; along with another dog spotted in the adjoining cemetery, not presently linked to the attack. None of the five medium size mixed breeds were wearing a collar for identification.
"This is a sad day, and the hardest thing about it is it didn't have to happen. The entire zoo's animal care staff work very hard to give the best care to the collection of animals here at the zoo, and to have them killed this way is tragic,” Zoo Director Beth Poff said, “There are people out there who have not taken responsibility for their dogs, and unfortunately we all have to suffer the consequences."
The Zoo lost 5 Springbok and 1 Addra Gazelle from its’ African Savannah area. Both species are part of antelope-gazelle family found in parts of Africa. The two spur-winged geese that were injured have been taken to the Zoo’s Animal Hospital for care.
Through a preliminary investigation there has not been a point of entry found on the fence line. The investigation continues as to where the dogs entered and one dog escaped the premises. The fence line is walked weekly to check for openings where dogs or other predators could enter.
The Zoo has 24-hour security, which has called Animal Control for dog sightings on zoo property eight times in the last five months, only three dogs have been captured from these calls.
Jackson Zoo staff continues to be vigilant in sighting loose dogs and monitoring the containment fences that surround the property. The zoo has contacted the City of Jackson today for assistance in containment, especially around possible drainage areas under the fence line.