New details regarding remaining animals at Las Vegas Zoo
Photo: Video by ktnv.com
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Action News has heard from many viewers over the past week, wondering what's happening with the animals since the Las Vegas Zoo shut down.
The zoo shut down after all three members of its zookeeping staff quit. They walked out because they said the zoo director wouldn't allow what they considered to be an acceptable level of animal care.
The USDA stepped in to work on placing the animals, and while most have been rescued and are in new homes, some weren't so lucky.
As Contact 13 investigated the zoo over the past several years, we'd often see the otters swimming in murky, dirty water. The male otter, who was older, had eyes covered with cataracts. The female was successfully rescued last week.
But zoo insiders told Contact 13 the male otter died in the week since the zoo closed.
There have been other casualties as well.
Insiders at the zoo said three baby agoutis were found dead in the enclosure they shared with the cavies. Agoutis are large rodents related to guinea pigs.
It's unclear how or why any of these animals died, just that it happened sometime over the last week after the zoo closed.
"Any time this kind of situation happens, it's so traumatic and stressful for animals. They die. They get hurt. This was done so quickly, it was so chaotic, that I'm sure other things have happened that we're just not aware of yet," said Linda Faso, animal welfare advocate.
The few who remain, awaiting transfer include the wallabies, Barbary apes, the American alligator, a raven and terry, and the chimpanzee, who's lived alone at the zoo for more than 17 years.
The USDA said they've monitored the consistent care and feeding of all the animals and will continue to assure the zoo's remaining animals are properly cared for until placed in other appropriate facilities.
Insiders said the animals should be out of there by the middle of this week.