Demand Better Protection for Zoo Animals

Tasmanian devil

Target: Mayor of Albuquerque, Richard J. Berry

Goal: Install video cameras in all animal enclosures and enhance security at the Albuquerque Bio Park Zoo

Recently, a Tasmanian devil was brutally murdered inside of its enclosure. The autopsy of the animal confirmed that it was forcefully hit with a brick, which fractured its skull. Officials of the Albuquerque Bio Park Zoo in New Mexico are not certain who killed the Tasmanian devil. However, investigators do know that the killer was either a park employee or guest. The enclosure did not have sufficient security, only cameras on the path leading up to the enclosure, but not in it. To prevent this type of tragedy from happening again, security changes must be made in the zoo.

It has been confirmed that the Tasmanian devil did not die instantly. After being hit, it stumbled over to a log to die. The Tasmanian devil undoubtedly suffered a very painful death. When the deceased animal was first discovered, employees thought that one of the three other Tasmanian devils in the enclosure was responsible. However, an autopsy, along with a 10-centimeter-thick piece of asphalt found in the enclosure, are proof that the death was human induced. This particular zoo is one of only two in the Unites States with Tasmanian devils. The zoo intends to breed the animals in its care to help the declining wild population. Tasmanian devils are endangered, mostly due to devil facial tumour disease (DFTD), a rampant, highly contagious parasitic cancer.

If an organization such as a zoo insists on keeping devils in captivity, it must work tirelessly to protect them. Not having a surveillance camera within an enclosure is unacceptable. Urge Mayor Richard Berry to require that Albuquerque Bio Park Zoo increase its park security, including adding surveillance in all enclosures, to ensure this tragedy does not happen again.


Dear Mayor Berry,

Very recently a Tasmanian devil was brutally murdered within its enclosure at the Albuquerque Bio Park Zoo. The autopsy revealed that the devil was killed by brute force to the head. After investigation, employees of the zoo found a piece of asphalt the size of a dessert plate, which was determined to be the murder weapon, thrown at the animal by either a visitor or park employee. It is not known who killed the Tasmanian devil because the enclosure is not equipped with surveillance cameras.

I understand that you head the Mayor’s Advisory Board in Albuquerque, which provides council to the Bio Park Zoo. Please insist that the zoo greatly increase its security within its enclosures. It is my hope that justice is served for the recently deceased animal. In its honor, the zoo should place surveillance cameras in every enclosure, as well as increase security around the park, to ensure this tragedy does not happen again.

Tasmanian devils are endangered, as are many animals the zoo attempts to help. I urge you to ensure the animals’ safety by requiring more adequate security within the park. Please put the well being of animals at the forefront of your concern.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: KeresH via Wikimedia

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