- Associated Press - Friday, December 18, 2015

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Wild animals at a Mississippi zoo continue to fall prey to wilder animals intruding from the outside.

Jackson Zoo Director Beth Poff said Friday that an addra gazelle and five springbok were attacked and killed by feral dogs just before dawn Friday morning. Two spur-winged geese were injured.

“This is a sad day, and the hardest thing about it is it didn’t have to happen,” Poff said in a statement. “There are people out there who have not taken responsibility for their dogs, and unfortunately we all have to suffer the consequences.”

It’s not the first time that dogs have killed animals that are supposed to be safely confined inside the zoo. A klipspringer, a small African antelope, was killed by a dog in 2013, while two gazelles were killed in 2008. The zoo sits in a neighborhood west of downtown that’s plagued by abandoned houses.

All the animals killed are part of the zoo’s African savannah exhibit. The geese were being cared for in the zoo’s animal hospital.

Poff said four of five dogs believed to have been part of Friday’s attack were captured by zoo employees and handed over to the animal control division of the Jackson Police Department. The fifth dog got away, and animal control was also unable to capture a dog sighted in the adjoining Cedar Lawn Cemetery.

Spokeswoman Angela Harris said the zoo’s 24-hour security has spotted dogs and called city animal control eight times since June. Animal control officers have captured dogs only three times.

Police spokeswoman Officer Colendula Green said animal control is waiting to see if any of the dogs are claimed. None of the four had collars. She said that if owners come forward, they could face misdemeanor criminal charges.

“They’ll be held responsible for these dogs,” she said.

If no one comes forward, she said animal control officers would kill the dogs.

Harris said zoo employees inspect the zoo’s exterior fences once a week to check for holes where dogs or other animals can get in. She said zoo officials hadn’t yet figured out how the dogs got in Friday.

___

Follow Jeff Amy at: http://twitter.com/jeffamy. Read his work at http://bigstory.ap.org/author/jeff-amy

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide