January 30, 2010 / 11:16 AM / 10 years ago

Pack of stray dogs kills 13 animals in Bulgarian zoo

SOFIA (Reuters) - A pack of stray dogs leapt the fence of Sofia’s zoo and killed 13 rare animals last week, the zoo director said on Saturday.

Six dogs, probably driven by hunger in temperatures that fell to minus 15 degrees last Saturday, tore to pieces five deer and eight mouflon, zoo director Ivan Ivanov said. Two fallow deer fought the dogs and survived.

Ivanov said the zoo’s fences had since been reinforced and gas pistols issued to security guards.

The Bulgarian capital, home to some two million people, has been plagued by stray dogs for years.

City council officials put their number at about 9,000, and say it has grown since economic crisis hit the European Union’s poorest member state and some people abandoned their pets.

Reporting by Tsvetelia Tsolova; editing by Andrew Roche

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