A curator at the Chicago Zoo says she is deeply saddened to learn of the death of her co-workers, as she’s “deeply attached to their memory.”
The zoo’s director of education, Michael Haines, told Fox News Sunday that the co-founder of the zoo’s staff died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound Tuesday night.
Hainets said the zoo is “aware of the incident and is currently working with police on the investigation.”
He added that the investigation is still in its early stages.
Haines said he was not aware of any arrests or charges pending in the investigation.
He said the incident is under investigation by the Cook County medical examiner’s office.
Hains added that a statement from the zoo was being reviewed and “there is no further information to provide.”
Hainets has been in the role of zoo director for just over two months, and has overseen the zoo since 2015.
In that time, the zoo has experienced several serious incidents that involved staff and visitors, including a fire at a greenhouse and the deaths of two animals.
Hainees was hired in July 2015.
In 2016, Hainesses was placed on leave amid the controversy over the zoo shooting of a male lion cub and the death in 2016 of another captive lion, the lion named Max.
The zoo’s new director, Michael Stansfield, was not immediately available for comment on Sunday.
Hains said he has no knowledge of any other incidents that have occurred at the zoo, but added that “there has been a lot of communication with the authorities.”
He said the department is “looking into this very seriously.”
The Chicago Tribune reported that the zoo recently hired a private detective to investigate the shooting death of a lion cub in March, but Hainys told Fox that the cub was not harmed.
The cub died in the zoo enclosure after its enclosure door was opened by an intruder.