The National Zoo has had to fend off all sorts of animal incursions

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You’d have to be pretty coldhearted not to have been saddened by the fatalities of 25 flamingos at the Nationwide Zoo, killed by a fox that bought in as a result of a baseball-dimensions hole in the fence this week.

The flamingos — their wings clipped — ended up sitting ducks. A literal sitting duck was also killed: a Northern pintail duck that was portion of the zoo’s assortment.

The zoo was at pains to point out that the offender was a wild fox. This was not a scenario of zoo-animal-on-zoo-animal violence. Nor was it the to start with time an outsider experienced infiltrated the zoo, intent on filling its tummy or just making mischief.

Back in 1889, when the zoo was even now on the Shopping mall, some “cur dogs” from the neighborhood entered the pen that contains an antelope that had only lately arrived from the West. According to The Washington Publish, the puppies “so harassed the antelope that it dashed its brains out in opposition to the aspect of the enclosure in a vain hard work to escape.”

This would not have delighted the Smithsonian, not the very least due to the fact the antelope experienced been a gift from wealthy Sen. Leland Stanford of California.

By 1893, the zoo had moved to its existing place in Rock Creek Park in Washington. Stray pet dogs were being still a difficulty, primarily for the deer. Potentially, considered Frank Baker, the zoo’s director, pet dogs could also be the option.

Baker acquired a pair of Russian wolfhounds. The subsequent time “vagrant” canines entered the zoo, he really pretty much introduced the hounds.

“Their very long, shaggy manes bristled and they went for their quarry like a flash,” wrote The Submit. “They had evidently been properly trained to the operate, for a single hung back while the other took the guide and headed off the recreation.”

Then both of those closed in on the trespassing doggy and … very well, it did not stop well for him.

Wrote The Article: “After that there was no more trouble with stray pet dogs, and now all that is vital when a pet dog becomes troublesome to the authorities is to flip out the hounds.”

There was the occasional error. The wolfhounds as soon as took off just after a collie that was wandering near the bear pits. They chased it to an deserted quarry bordering the zoo, wherever a cliff disregarded a 75-foot-fall. The collie — “choosing the preferable of two modes of death” — leaped in excess of the edge.

The collie landed 10 feet down, its tumble stopped by a clump of bushes. It was rescued. The pet turned out to be owned by George Brown Goode, the assistant secretary of the Smithsonian.

In 1970, two canines scaled a chain-website link fence at the zoo and established on the herd of waterbuck mounted around the excellent flight cage. The puppies killed two pregnant females and a 3-month-aged male.

According to the Night Star: “The puppies built no exertion to consume their prey.”

You just can’t genuinely blame animals for following their instincts, for currently being, perfectly, animals. And just because zoo animals might be neighbors, it doesn’t indicate they will be neighborly.

In 1971, a rhino named Willie broke out of his pen and entered the adjacent enclosure, fatally goring Thigi, one particular of the zoo’s four recently-obtained bongos, a variety of antelope.

The zoo’s director, T.H. Reed, spelled out that the 2½-ton Willie had been in rut, the male equal of in heat. Reed informed the Evening Star that although Willie experienced been generally docile, “no rhino is pretty reputable.”

Bear in mind that should really a rhino ever check out to get you to invest in cryptocurrency.

Animals are not the only types who have experienced at the arms, er, paws of animals at the Nationwide Zoo. In particular in the zoo’s early times — when animal treatment and manage techniques ended up not as state-of-the-art as they are now — keepers were being normally in hazard.

This sort of was the case on May perhaps 15, 1904, when it was time for Arthur Edwards to feed a coyote that had arrived at the zoo as a pup.

Edwards was subsequent what was the protocol at the time — locking himself in the cage when offering the coyote’s foods and making an attempt in no way to flip his back again on the animal — when he was established on.

The Washington Occasions — a rather lurid paper — described the attack in element, producing that as Edwards was backing out of the enclosure, “the coyote sprang at his throat with a snarl of rage.”

Edwards managed to get his correct hand close to the animal’s throat, holding it there as the coyote chomped up and down his arm as if it was an ear of corn.

By the time an additional keeper entered the cage with a club and pounded the coyote “almost into insensibility,” Edwards’s correct arm was in tatters, his minor finger in require of amputation.

The Times noted that the coyote “has demonstrated all the treachery of his tribe and has been ‘bad’ often.”

There was no remark from the coyote.

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