Latest News

Back to Latest News back

 

Female staff member found dead from apparent stabbing at National Zoo and Aquarium in Canberra

Female staff member found dead from apparent stabbing at National Zoo and Aquarium in Canberra
December 18, 2023

A 29-year-old man has been arrested by the Australian Federal Police after the body of a woman was found in a storeroom at the National Zoo and Aquarium in Canberra today.

The woman, a member of the National Zoo and Aquarium staff team, was found dead as a result of stab wounds in a storeroom at a commercial kitchen at the venue.

Emergency services were called to the attraction at lunchtime today after receiving reports of a disturbance. When Police arrived, they found the woman who was deceased – apparently stabbed to death with a knife.

The man arrested was reportedly a co-worker.

Advising that the victim and the suspect were both worked at the Zoo, Detective Superintendent Hall O'Meagher of ACT Criminal Investigations told a press conference that when Police arrived on the scene they found the 29-year-old woman dead and that it was apparent she had been stabbed.

He advised “it's apparent at this stage that the deceased died as a result of stab wounds.

"A post-mortem examination will be conducted in coming days, but at this stage it looks like she's been stabbed to death with a knife.

"The knife was located at the scene."

Detective Superintendent O'Meagher said police do not believe there are any direct witnesses to the incident, but noted that there were witnesses nearby at the time who have spoken to Police.

He explained "witnesses have described loud screams from around the commercial kitchen area, and they responded to that.

"The deceased was located in situ at a storeroom out the back of the commercial kitchen within the zoo."

Detective Superintendent O'Meagher informed the press conference “it's unknown at this point in time if they had any further relationship outside of that work arrangement.”

He went on to state that the suspect was in a stable condition in hospital with what appeared to be self-inflicted wounds.

He said no charges had been laid at this stage, and police were conducting inquires into the background of both the victim and the suspect, adding "a homicide investigation has commenced and further inquires will include an examination of the scene forensically, talking to witnesses, and, ultimately, a post-mortem examination that will confirm the cause of death of this woman.

"The investigating police have spoken to the family of the deceased, and our thoughts are with them at this very difficult time for them."

He said the Zoo would be "closed for some time" as Police carried out their forensic examination of the scene.

On its Facebook page, the National Zoo and Aquarium said it had "experienced a tragic event on Monday involving staff members", adding “due to the incredibly sad events, both the zoo and Jamala will be closed tomorrow in respect of all those affected directly or indirectly.

It said tours and encounters would be cancelled on Tuesday, with hopes the zoo would be ready to resume operations on Wednesday.

Police are urging anyone with information that could assist police to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, or via the Crime Stoppers ACT website, and quote reference 7623644.

Image: Police were called to the National Zoo and Aquarium in Canberra this afternoon after reports of a disturbance. Credit: National Zoo and Aquarium.

Related Articles

17th November 2023 - Charges laid over Tasmanian inflatable castle tragedy that killed six children

26th October 2023 - Police investigation after water polo coach found dead at elite Sydney school

12th April 2022 - Teenage worker killed after stabbing at Sydney Royal Easter Show

11th March 2021 - Federal Government’s tourism package includes six-month extension of Zoos and Aquarium program

22nd October 2020 - Visitors at zoo in Shanghai see worker killed by bear

29th September 2019 - ZAA-accredited zoos and aquariums highlight their activities through Conservation Week

17th September 2018 - ZAA-accredited zoos to collaborate on conservation and animal welfare

30th May 2017 - Brother and sisters from travelling show family killed in NSW highway crash

1st January 2017 - Two killed by illegal New Year’s Eve fireworks

15th September 2016 - Court hears of improvements to Hamilton Zoo safety systems after keeper’s death

18th February 2015 - Mzungu the giraffe to boost breeding program at National Zoo and Aquarium

14th January 2015 - National Zoo and Aquarium welcomes ‘intelligent and curious’ spotted hyenas

10th December 2014 - Worksafe report reveals Australia Zoo handler ‘over excited’ tiger before attack

1st October 2012 - National Zoo and Aquarium breeding program welcomes new koala


Support our industry news service
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

As an independent publisher, we need reader support for our industry news gathering so ask that - if you don't already do so - you back us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine and/or our online news.

Click here to view our subscription options.

 

supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

Fun Wheels Pty Ltd

Fun Wheels Pty Ltd are the premium dealer in Australasia for the Dutch company BERG’s commercial and domestic products. Our flagship product is their revolutionary pedal go-kart – the…

read more

Attractions / Tourism / Venues

 
 

Advanced Aquarium Technologies

Advanced Aquarium Technologies (AAT) is a world leader in the design, construction, and operation of landmark public aquariums. Led from Queensland, AAT has delivered aquarium projects in over 25…

read more

Attractions / Consultants / Design / Parks / Zoos

 
 

Again Faster

ABOUT Again Faster is a Brisbane based, Australian owned supplier of strength and conditioning and functional fitness equipment. With nearly 10 years experience in the Australian market, we are…

read more

Fitness / Recreation

 
 

Altitude Training Systems

ATS are global leaders in altitude training and research. From mask systems and inflatable tents to simulated altitude facilities, we help all athletes gain the competitive edge. Our…

read more

Fitness / Sport / Technology

 
 

Ungerboeck Software

As of February 2023, Ungerboeck Software has rebranded as Momentus Technologies.

read more

Entertainment / Events / Hospitality / Technology / Venues

 
 

Clubworx

Switch to smarter fitness management software with Clubworx based in Australia that enables fitness businesses to start or grow their business with ease. - all in one place from anywhere in the…

read more

Fitness / Recreation / Technology / Wellness

 
 

DAE Global

DAE Global is one of the world’s leading international creative and production practitioners, creating award-winning sport, culture and entertainment experiences for over 30 years.  It was…

read more

Culture / Entertainment / Events / Venues

 
 

IEDM

iEDM integrate Design, Engineering and Delivery Management services to convert existing spaces into exciting new entertainment venues. Our team consists of highly qualified professionals with diverse…

read more

Consultants / Design

 
 
 
 

get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business