German Police Hunting for Killer of Zoo's Beloved Sea Lion

German Police Hunting for Killer of Zoo's Beloved Sea Lion Holly the sea lion, seen here in mid-flip, was found beaten to death in her German zoo enclosure. (Dortmund Zoo/Facebook)

Police are searching for the killer of a beloved sea lion named Holly that was beaten to death at the Dortmund Zoo in western Germany.

Workers originally thought the 21-year-old sea lion had died of natural causes until an autopsy showed massive injuries, city officials said, according to The Local, an English-language German news site.

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Holly, the mother of a new pup, was beaten so severely that three of her teeth were knocked out, zoo workers said. Her skull had been bashed in, they said.

A hole was found in a nearby fence, zoo workers said.

Holly had been a playful and popular exhibit at the zoo.

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“The employees who worked directly with her are very sad, and the zoo as well,” director Frank Brandstatter told the website.

He described as Holly as “very sweet and sporty.”

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