King penguin dies in lions den other penguins wounded after night assault.
Belfast Zoo is a popular place for visitors set on the slopes of Cave Hill overlooking the city. It is also the home of the friendly penguins.
Zoo keepers were horrified when they went to check on the penguin enclosure. When they noticed that the animals were in a distressed condition, they realised something was wrong. During the night vandals had broken through two fences entering the penguin enclosure.
The attackers beat several penguins with an iron bar and stones, with some of the animals receiving minor cuts. A King Penguin was missing and was later found dead in the lion's den.
Speaking to RTÉ News, Mark Challis Assistant Manager at Belfast Zoo, describes the penguins as,
Laid-back, relatively friendly animals in the zoo... their only contact with humans has been friendly, pleasant contact... it will take some time for the penguins themselves to get over the trauma of last night
A security review is now being undertaken at the zoo.
An RTÉ News report by Michael Fisher broadcast on 22 February 2001.