A sad story comes from the Baton Rouge Zoo in Baton Rouge, Lousiana. Sometime in the evening hours between Monday and Tuesday, July 11-12, a group of stray dogs entered the zoo and killed three spot-nosed guenons. The victims were a 29-year-old female monkey, and two males aged 22 and 18 respectively.
Originally native to Africa, these smaller primates are usually only active during the day. A zoo representative said the dogs were not able to actually enter the monkey’s exhibit. Instead, she believes the dogs bit the monkey’s arms as they reached through the surrounding cage, causing the fatal wounds.
The Baton Rouge Zoo has been troubled as of late, having lost a giraffe, a tiger, and a lion earlier this year. Also, in 2010, the zoo suffered a similar feral dog attack, when a pack of dogs broke in and killed 17 flamingos (1).
In the seven years since Hurricane Katrina, parts of Louisiana have been plagued by feral dogs (2). As people evacuated New Orleans, which isn’t far from Baton Rouge, many pet dogs were left to fend for themselves. Those that survived the storm, and the period after, remained in New Orleans, breeding and forming packs. Today, they run rampant in the city, as their offspring continue to propagate.
All at once, this story is a sad reminder of the bleak future that awaits abandoned dogs, and a testament to the nature’s will to survive. We don’t always consider it, but at their core, our pets are wild animals.
An article from WAFB Channel 9 News, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, outlines the proper steps to take if you spot a potentially dangerous feral animal. If you’re in Louisiana, it’s a worthwhile read, and it can be found here:
Stay alert, and if you spot a feral dog or cat, call your local animal control center immediately.