Feral dogs in exotic animal attack might not be euthanized - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Feral dogs in exotic animal attack might not be euthanized

Feral dogs in exotic animal attack might not be euthanized

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Jackson police say the fate of four feral dogs believed responsible for killing six exotic animals at the Jackson Zoo Friday morning remains uncertain.

Zoo handlers said the pack of wild dogs gained access to the facility sometime around 5 a.m. and entered the facility's African Savannah exhibit, mauling five Springbok and one Addra Gazelle to death.

Zoo director Beth Poff said the real challenge begins now: searching the zoo's eight-foot perimeter fence for clues, as well as any areas nearby.

"The main things we're looking for is just fresh dirt areas, paw prints, where dogs may be sleeping at night, where they're hanging out during the evening hours," Poff said.

It's the fourth such attack at the Jackson Zoo in the last ten years involving the feral creatures.

In 2005, Poff said dogs killed approximately 17 flamingos at the zoo.

Three years later, another attack took place.

"In 2008, we had two new gazelles that were just brought in quarantine, and the dogs ran them up and down the fence line and broke their necks. Weren't even chased and killed, those," Poff said.

Now four of the five dogs believed responsible in this incident remain in holding cages at JPD. 

One escaped by scaling the eight-foot fence Friday morning, Poff said.

Jackson Police Officer Colendula Green said if no one claims ownership of the feral canines, they'll be euthanized.

However, if someone does, the animals might still live.

"They won't be put down. We're just trying to find the owners of these dogs," said Green. We're hoping that we can do so. We're hoping that someone out there will come forward and tell us that they're the owners and if so, they will be held responsible." 

Poff said the dogs could have gotten in through drainage pipes and culverts on the complex, but they're still investigating.

The zoo hopes to replace the animals sometime in the spring, through arrangements with other zoos around the country.

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