A rare golden lion tamarin monkey at the Bristol Zoo Gardens fell into a lake and was eaten by otters, a whistleblower told the Bristol Post. The incident is just one in a series of traumas that have befallen endangered species at the zoo in recent months.
The tamarin fell into the lake surrounding the island enclosure in which it was living, zoo officials confirmed to the Post, and floated towards the otter enclosure. "It was trapped in a drainage valve and then eaten by American otters," the whistleblower said.
In December, a female Visaryan warty pig named Manilla unexpectedly gave birth to piglets, which were then eaten by a male Visaryan warty pig named Elvis, who had been brought to the zoo to mate with Manilla in September.
"On the day the female gave birth to piglets the male immediately ate them all, and then also attacked the mother by eating her rear end. She was so badly injured she had to be put down," the whistleblower told the Post. "This meant the loss of a family of rare warty pigs that could have been avoided by keeping the male separate."
Zoo officials said the incident was unavoidable, as Manilla had not displayed any signs that she was pregnant. If she had, they would have kept Elvis in a separate enclosure. The critically endangered warty pigs are so rare, the Daily Mail reports, that it is not known exactly how many there even are.
A spokesperson for the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums told the Bristol Post that the organization was "extremely proud" of the zoo's standards and track record in keeping and protecting its animals.