Once upon a time, officials at the National Zoo explained the lives of animals. In recent years, they’ve seemed to spend more time explaining their deaths. Since 2000, the death toll has included two poisoned red pandas, two malnourished zebras, a salmonella-infected orangutan, a lion that expired after anesthesia, and a pygmy hippo that keeled over from unknown causes. The macabre list reached a new extreme this past weekend, when zoo officials announced that a bald eagle had been attacked in its cage by an unknown animal—and had died on the Fourth of July, no less. Can things get any worse than the slaying of a national icon on a national holiday? Perhaps they can. CP

Child Fed to Lions

Zoo employee said to have mistaken cats’ den for lost and found.

Primate “Think Tank” Burns Down

Orangutans reportedly given pipes to smoke to improve cognition.

Primate “Think Tank” Burns Down

Orangutans reportedly given pipes to smoke to improve cognition.

Seal Found in Diabetic Coma; Cotton Candy Suspected

Zookeepers accidentally omitted “not” from “Do not feed the animals” sign.

Scarlet Macaw Grilled, Served in Sandwich

According to zoo officials, short-order cook at Panda Cafe ran out of chicken breasts.

Panda Hangs Self

Suicide note says sensitive animal “could no longer stand the carnage.”