ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (KRQE) – In a matter of days, the Alameda Park Zoo experienced two break-ins. The first occurred two weeks ago when according to the Zoo’s Manager, Kate Unterweger someone jumped over the fence.
“We came in and we found where somebody had come in and destroyed two of our duck food feeders around the duck pond area,” said Unterweger. The zoo’s manager says those feeders were found floating in the duck pond, but just four days later on July 18, zookeepers found a broken lock on a door leading to the zoo’s bird enclosure. “We came in and found that one of our blue and gold macaws had been taken.”
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Unterweger says three days after the macaw named Pepe went missing, she received a call, Pepe had been found dead a few miles from the zoo. “A young girl had found him and turned him into animal control. He was found in a dumpster in the alley behind her house,” said Unterweger.
The zoo’s manager believes Pepe’s death was a result of stress after being taken. “We’re all devastated about the incident, especially about losing a bird like that. Our staff does a really good job caring for everything and they sure didn’t take that very well,” Unterweger said. The Alameda Park Zoo’s manager says they did not have surveillance cameras at the time and they’re hoping someone will come forward with information on the crime. In the last couple of weeks, the zoo has upgraded its security, adding cameras, more locks, and improving the fencing.