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Murder of Tasmanian devil raises fears at N.M. zoo

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The killing of a rare Tasmanian devil on loan from Australia has prompted beefed-up security at a New Mexico zoo and a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

The Albuquerque BioPark Zoo is adding more guards and surveillance cameras following the death of the animal, named Jasper, at the zoo last week, reports CBS affiliate KRQE in Albuquerque.

"It's going to be a robust, absolutely robust security enhancement," said Gilbert Montano, chief of staff for the mayor. "It's something we're looking at as very much a permanent fixture. I think we want to create as much as deterrent for this type of ridiculous activity in the near future."

No surveillance cameras captured what happened to Jasper.

An examination concluded that Jasper died from a fractured skull and brain trauma. A piece of asphalt was found nearby.

The animal was one of four Tasmanian devils loaned to the Albuquerque zoo by Healesville Sanctuary in Australia as part of an effort to start a breeding program for the endangered species.

Healesville Sanctuary director Glen Holland told the Australian Associated Press that Jasper's killing was "terrible, terrible news."

A zoo booster group and a city anti-crime program are offering the $5,000 reward.

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