A series of suspicious animal deaths at the National Zoo of El Salvador have led to an investigation by authorities, the BBC reports.
— Diego Alvarado ن (@diegovarado) April 27, 2017
After the death a puma and a baby monkey at the zoo last week, which died in an accident, prosecutors are investigating allegations that animals at the zoo are subject to improper care and neglect. Prior to these most recent deaths, the zoo lost a zebra and their beloved hippo, Gustavito.
The zoo originally reported Gustavo was beaten to death, though an investigation revealed the hippo actually died of neglect.
— Alexander (@HeyAlexanderr) February 26, 2017
As mitú reported in February, reports of Gustavito’s alleged murder created outrage among the people in El Salvador. However, police in charge of the investigation could find no evidence backing up the zoo’s claim that the animal had been stabbed or beaten to death. It wasn’t until a thorough investigation of the hippo’s body was conducted that authorities found out the real cause of death.
A full examination of Gustavito’s body showed the hippo died from a hemorrhage in its lungs, the BBC reported.
Four animals have died at the National Zoo this year, including the much-loved hippo Gustavito. https://t.co/wfHpC796UT
— Thus Spake (@thus_spake) April 29, 2017
It turns out zoo officials were not being honest about the death of Gustavito, which has increased suspicions about the care of animals at the zoo. As prosecutors investigate the deaths of these animals, El Salvador’s Culture Ministry has expressed interest in converting El Salvador’s National Zoo into a wildlife park.