WASHINGTON — More than a week after 25 American flamingos and one Northern pintail duck were killed at the Smithsonian's National Zoo, the animal believed to have attacked the birds is dead.
A spokesperson for Adcocks Trapping Service, a trapping company that contracts with the zoo, told WUSA9 that the fox was effectively trapped and captured at the National Zoo Thursday evening. The spokesperson could not confirm if the fox trapped was, indeed, the fox that killed the birds.
According to zoo staff, the flamingos and duck were killed by a wild fox that broke into the outdoor flamingo habitat during the early hours of May 2. Zoo officials told reporters that the fox entered through a "softball-sized hole" in fencing that they believed could withstand destruction from foxes and raccoons. The fox possibly chewed or clawed through the fence, but it is unclear.
When staffers arrived at the zoo that day they saw the 25 flamingos dead.
Bryan Amaral, the senior curator of the Smithsonian's National Zoo, told WUSA9 on May 3 that it is not unusual to see foxes roaming zoo grounds, but they are considered predators to many of the animals.
Amaral said that because the fox had attacked the flock that originally had 74 flamingos, the zoo intended to take action against the fox through "collecting and trapping." He said the plan would be to euthanize the fox if it was captured because it became a "threat to the collection."
The Washington Post reported on Friday that the fox that was captured has been euthanized.
Pamela Baker-Masson, a spokesperson for the zoo, could not confirm to The Post that the fox that was captured was definitively the fox that killed the birds.
After the fox attack, the remaining flamingos in the flock were moved to a barn indoors and the ducks were moved to a covered and secure outdoor space.
In addition to the flamingos and duck killed, zoo officials said that three flamingos were injured from the fox's attacks.