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Tasmanian devil death investigated at US zoo

October 18, 2014

ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico (AP) — Authorities are looking into the death of a Tasmanian devil found in a pool of blood at a New Mexico zoo with its skull fractured. Investigators suspect it was killed.

The animal was one of four provided to the Albuquerque BioPark Zoo last year by the Healesville Sanctuary as part of an effort to start a breeding program for the endangered species, the Albuquerque Journal reported. The devils’ population on the island of Tasmania south of the Australian mainland has been decimated by a form of cancer.

The animal was discovered dead in his outdoor enclosure on Wednesday, the newspaper reported.

Investigators suspect the animal was killed by someone who hit it with a piece of asphalt that was found near its body, according to an Albuquerque police report.

“Upon hearing about it, the mayor was shocked, outraged, extremely concerned,” said Gilbert Montaño, Mayor Richard Berry’s chief of staff. “These little guys are an endangered species.”

Authorities are asking anyone who saw something to come forward.

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Information from: Albuquerque Journal, http://www.abqjournal.com

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