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Animal Massacre At Australian Children’s Zoo

March 25, 1985

ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) _ Shocked keepers at the children’s zoo this morning found the carcasses of 64 animals, including kangaroos, sheep and a crocodile, that had been hacked to death during the night, police said.

Police Detective Sgt. Jeff Lawrence said the attackers appeared to have climbed into the children’s section of the Adelaide zoo over a wooden fence and slaughtered the animals, more like pets to staff and the thousands of children who visited them.

″As a police officer you can accept a murder scene, but to see innocent animals in a children’s zoo slaughtered ... One’s got to wonder what type of person this is,″ he said.

Police said they were sure the killings were carried out by more than one person because several people would have been required to hold down some of the larger animals while they were being killed.

″The sheep were disembowelled, the majority of the animals had their throats cut or were stabbed near the heart,″ he said.

An antelope, a llama, kangaroos and sheep were among the larger animals attacked in the slaughter which extended indiscriminately to guinea pigs, rabbits and chickens inside a children’s playhouse.

In one section, a crocodile was beaten over the head with an iron bar, dragged over a low railing and disembowelled. In another enclosure, kangaroos had had their throats slashed.

″Most of them were tame and would come up to you, and consequently were very easy to catch,″ said zoo director Robert baker as zoo staff and police inspected the scene.

Baker said the killings would have taken some time because of the large number of animals attacked. ″It was the way in which it was done that was so terrible, it was obviously premeditated,″ he said.

″They just went from one enclosure to the next killing. All the staff are extremely distressed and angry.″

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