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Public rallies to support Austin Zoo

July 14, 2014

What type of animals would steal from an animal sanctuary? Certainly not the four-legged kind. The Austin Zoo is offering $5,000 to find out.

On the night of July 3, burglars stole cash, two laptops, an ATM, a safe, and equipment used to monitor and care for zoo animals, including a tranquilizer gun.

And then there’s the damage. Patti Clark, the Zoo’s director, told the Gazette, “The burglars pried open file cabinets in our offices and smashed one of our Admissions cash registers. They damaged gates and doors to gain access to the property and Gift Shop.”

Fortunately, all of the animals are fine as the burglary was confined to the Gift Shop/Admissions building, although a trio of rescued felines that live in the building were “clearly quite scared,” according to Clark.

Austin Zoo and Animal Sanctuary is a private, non-profit zoo, that is home to more than 350 animals representing a hundred different species. The Zoo’s mission is “to assist animals in need through rescue, rehabilitation and education.”

All told, the Zoo suffered more than $25,000 in losses. Insurance will cover the damaged gates and doors, but likely not the damaged and stolen equipment.

But for the Austin Zoo and Animal Sanctuary, a silver lining has appeared in an outpouring of support as word of the burglary spread. Clark said, “The response from the community has been amazing! Currier Lock and Safe in Buda has donated several hours of labor every day since the burglary rekeying all buildings on the property and working on obtaining and replacing all locks. Dyezz Surveillance is donating a complete security system for the entire Zoo. Get an Edge Up is donating file cabinets. 3M is donating file cabinets. We have had individuals donate tablet computers and laptops, a file cabinet and a safe in addition to cash donations.”

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