Penguin’s head sliced clean off and left beside body by sick zoo slayer

Horrified zoo keepers in Germany found a dead Humboldt penguin in its enclosure, with the severed head lying next to it.

Next to the dead animal was a stone with blood stains on it, leading the keepers to expect foul play and alert police, Bild in Germany reports.

Dörte Lemke, spokeswoman for the Rostock police, confirmed that criminal investigations were ongoing after the discovery at Rostock Zoo, in the north of Germany.

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"Due to the situation in which the Humboldt penguin was found, it cannot currently be ruled out that the animal died as a result of external influence," she said.

"The investigation of evidence at the site of discovery in the zoo is currently being carried out by the Rostock Criminal Police Office."

The animal was taken to the State Office for Agriculture, Food Safety and Fisheries in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania for the pathological examination.

An initial autopsy showed that the carcass also had bite marks, and the teeth marks weren't from a human and a fox was suspected.

Foxes, along with other wild animals, roam the zoo grounds, located in the forest.

"The autopsy showed that the penguin had multiple bite injuries," said the police spokeswoman.

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But since the head was sliced clean off, zoo keepers don't think another animal is to blame.

Police added that it is not clear whether the penguin was killed in the location where its body was found, or moved there after an attack.

According to initial police reports, other animals at the Rostock zoo were not injured.

The Rostock Zoo has 6500 animals from 500 different species and has received the “Best European Zoo Award” several times.

Attacks on animals or mistreatment by third parties have not been registered in recent years, Bild reported.

According to the zoo director, electronic security is now being considered to protect free-roaming animals.

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