Metal door collapses on African painted dog at Zoo Miami, killing it instantly

Investigation into equipment failure underway

By Amanda Batchelor - Senior Digital Editor, Ian Margol - Reporter

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. - A metal door collapsed on an African painted dog Monday morning at Zoo Miami, killing the animal instantly, Zoo Miami spokesman Ron Magill announced in a news release.

Magill said the incident occurred during a routine transfer of the pack, which included both parents and five juveniles.

He said a cable that supported a solid metal guillotine door separated and the door then fell on the animal, killing it instantly.

"As keepers were lifting doors to give access to the dogs and their puppies to go out on the exhibit, as the puppies were going through, one of the cables snapped and the door fell and killed a puppy instantly," Magill said. 

The juvenile that was killed was a female and one of five puppies that was born on Jan. 23. One male juvenile and three female juveniles remain in the pack.

Magill said the doors slide up and down and run on a cable and pulley system. 

"What happened here was the cable broke. The question is: Why did the cable break? Was it a cable that was fraying for a while and maybe we should have noticed it pre-incident? Or was it something that was inherently flawed and just snapped all of the sudden?" he said. 

Magill said an investigation into what caused the door to collapse is underway, which will include inspections of all similar equipment used throughout the zoo.

"It is important to note that this system of guillotine doors is only used to provided access within a secure area between the animals and their exhibit habitat and that no animal would have access to any public areas as a result of such a failure," the news release stated.

Magill said the area where the incident occurred is not viewable to visitors. 

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