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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

No Previous Break-Ins? How Could a Zoo Official Forget the Suspected Bestiality Attacks of 1993 and 1997?

Posted By and on Wed, Sep 30, 2009 at 4:45 PM

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A recent Snitch item by award-winning reporter Joe Eskenazi quoted a longtime San Francisco animal welfare advocate noting he didn't believe that anyone had broken into animal enclosures at the San Francisco Zoo during the previous 40 years.

SF Weekly begs to differ -- in the form of a May, 14, 1997 article by writer Jeff Stark titled "Silence of the Lambs." 

According to Stark, in January 1997 a petting zoo sheep was sent to the veterinarian after the critter began acting spooked and struggled to urinate. The veterinarian suspected "vaginal trauma," but couldn't be sure because a vaginal swab didn't turn up semen. The incident coincided with a police zoo stakeout that ended up disrupting an intruder.

Circumstantial evidence pointed to bestiality, but at the time of Stark's article there was insufficient evidence to make a solid case. Four years earlier, however, the zoo suffered a tough-to-dispute instance of human-on-animal sexual assault.


A keeper found a half-naked man inside the barn with sheep loose and a tethered pony lying on its side. One of the sheeps' vaginas was torn, having "been forcibly entered by some object or piece of anatomy so large as to do harm," Stark wrote.

After the January, 1997 incident, staff treated the physical evidence on the petting zoo sheep, Chip, as an assault. Police advised the zoo to increase late night security, provide more lighting, and install tougher locks.

How could anyone forget an anti-bestialist lockdown?

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