Otters discovered, owls nonetheless lacking from Ochsner Park Zoo after break-in, police say


BARABOO, Wis. — Police in Baraboo are looking for whoever broke into the Ochsner Park Zoo in a single day and let a number of animals unfastened.

Police mentioned in the course of the break-in, the suspect or suspects lower locks off among the zoo habitats.

When zookeeper Ellen Gallagher arrived at work Tuesday morning, two great-horned owls and two otters have been lacking.

“It was tough for me to wrap my head round it instantly as a result of it’s not what you look forward to finding,” she mentioned.

Two kayakers later noticed the otters — Mo and Mitch — in a river close to the zoo and known as officers.

Investigators consider whoever broke in needed to set the animals free, however Gallagher mentioned they can’t survive on their very own within the wild.

“Letting the animal be free looks like it might be a good suggestion, however what it actually might have achieved is signal their demise certificates,” she mentioned.

As of Tuesday night time, searches for the owls haven’t introduced them again to the zoo. Gallagher fears in the event that they aren’t discovered quickly, a distinct sort of panic will set in.

“Ours don’t know find out how to hunt, so what (will) most likely find yourself taking place is that if they’re roosting within the space, the longer they go with out meals, the extra weak they could get so they could come right down to the bottom,” she mentioned.

In her 15 years as a zookeeper, Gallagher mentioned she has by no means skilled something of this nature.

“You by no means actually suppose it’s going to be actual… though you focus on it as a security or a drill possibly,” she mentioned.



No harmful animals have been on the unfastened.

Police are asking anybody who sees the animals to name 608-356-4895. Don’t contact the animals in case you see them.

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