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.
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.
“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.”