Frankfurt Zoo: Tests show fox beheaded flamingos

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FILE - In this April 12, 2012 file photo flamingos stand in their compound at the zoo in Frankfurt, central Germany. German police are hunting a killer responsible for the death of 15 flamingos at Frankfurt Zoo, some of which were beheaded as they slept. The culprit, or culprits, struck twice, both times at night. Keepers found nine of the long-necked, pink birds dead in their enclosure on Friday, March 21, 2014 and another six Saturday, March 22, 2014. (AP Photo/dpa, Frank Rumpenhorst, File)


FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Frankfurt Zoo says it has identified the culprit in the death of 15 flamingos, some of which were beheaded as they slept.

It says tests show the killer was a fox.

Zoo director Manfred Niekisch voiced relief Tuesday that the killings last week weren't the work of a human, as initially feared.

Police were sent to protect the Chilean flamingos after keepers found nine birds dead in their enclose Friday, but the predator outfoxed them. A further six bodies were discovered Saturday morning.

The zoo now plans to lock the birds up at night, erect an electric fence and set live fox traps to prevent future flamingo massacres.