59 animals have been killed in the Sao Paulo Zoo since last month, including an elephant, dromedaries, monkeys and porcupines. Tests show the animals were killed with a rat poison that is banned in Brazil.

For Reuters, Paula Lace quotes Sao Paulo minister Joao Carlos Meirelles as saying, “We can say with almost total certainty that the suspects will be identified by next week, give or take.”

The zoo has put 15 workers on leave while they are under investigation, and has ordered all zoo staff members to work in pairs. Ronaldo, who works at the zoo, says, “If this is an outside job, I can’t understand how they are managing to do it, given our strict security measures.”

“The poor things are defenseless. Clearly, they are paying the price for some personal vendetta,” says zoo visitor Simone Oka Filho.

Jane Ballaintine, of the American Zoo and Aquarium Association, says, “It really shocks us that anyone would want to do this.”

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