New Information: Petting Zoo Massacre - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

New Information: Petting Zoo Massacre

Newschannel 6 learned developing details in the petting zoo deaths at Lost River Ranch. A recent report by the Wichita County Sheriff's Office shows that officials believe it was another animal responsible for the killing of nine animals last week.

 The veterinarian that looked over the animals believe the injuries to the rabbits and the pig were "consistent with that of an animal biting."

Ron Rittenhouse, owner of Lost River Ranch doesn't understand how an animal could have done that. He stands by his belief that a person committed the gruesome crime of killing seven rabbits, a wallaby and a pig at his petting zoo.

"An animal that opens gates, an animal that opens rabbit pens and gets rabbits out. I'd say that's a pretty good reach," said Rittenhouse.

Just recently the owners noticed something was wrong to a deer that had some wounds but lived. It wasn't eating and drinking correctly. They found a wire wrapped around its tongue.

"I don't know how that could have happened without a man doing that. I don't think an animal could do that," said Rittenhouse.

"It's probably a domesticated type dog," said Wichita county Sheriff David Duke. "A dog. A hunting dog or an outdoor dog would grab something and shake its head and that's how they break animals necks and injure things."

The report released does not goes into detail about what happened to the rabbits that were left without any marks. We also asked how an animal was able to open several gates.

"We don't know for a fact that somebody else didn't go out there after hours and open some gates or if someone went out there with their own dog or dogs and allowed them to get inside those pens," said Sheriff Duke.

The Wichita County Sheriff's Office isn't ruling out that a person was involved but after exhausting all leads, evidence points to an animal. Sheriff Duke said deputies are on patrol in that area. They are speaking with residents who may have seen a large dog. They are also on the lookout for anything suspicious. He said they believe it was a dog over a coyote because a coyote would have taken or eaten the animals.

The owners are not giving up hope. The are now offering a $2,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest. They also said they have a security system installed on the ranch so that if anything like this happens again, they will have evidence.

 

Crystal Hall Newschannel 6.

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