Manhunt for zoo animal poisoning suspect

2010-05-26 14:27

Ukrainian police were searching for a man suspected of complicity

in a series of zoo animal poisonings, the Interfax news agency reported.

The suspect, described as a man aged 40 to 45 and wearing an

earring, had been seen last week next to the cage of a dromedary camel in the

Kiev city zoo.

The animal died of poisoning.

Handlers later found a boiled potato in the camel’s enclosure,

possibly used to deliver the poison, according to a Kiev city zoo


One of the Kiev zoo’s star attractions, a male Indian elephant aged

39, died of suspected poisoning on April 26.

A high-profile biological research institute performed an autopsy

but has not yet made public its findings.

The man sought by police in connection with the camel’s death was

wanted for questioning about the elephant’s poisoning as well, according to the

Interfax report.

Two Tibetan Yaks held at the Kiev city zoo were poisoned on May 13,

but veterinarians were able to save their lives.

The government-owned Kiev city zoo is a frequent target of

criticism by local media, for alleged poor management and misuse of zoo


The zoo is heavily visited, and during warm weather, it is one of

the most popular municipal parks in the Ukrainian capital.

The zoo’s leadership has repeatedly denied media allegations of

poor stewardship and claims that criminal groups have stepped up criticism in an

attempt to remove the present management and take control of ticket sales and

snack concessions.

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