Keepers in the children’s zoo were attempting to catch a nighttime marauder that was killing their chickens and waterfowl. One keeper in particular was determined to get the animal, suspected to be a large raccoon. When live traps near the bird areas failed to catch it he spent several nights in the zoo with a shotgun. That was no more successful.
Then one morning a live trap at the other end of the children’s zoo was found sprung but empty. The keeper figured that his hunt would soon be successful. The next few mornings, however, gave the same result: the trap was sprung and the bait was gone, but the trap was empty. Each day the keeper became more excited—a raccoon that could reach the bait in the large live trap but still stick out far enough to prevent the trap door from closing must be a giant. And he was going to catch it!
He was rather disappointed a few nights later when another keeper got a look at the “monster raccoon.” One of the working dogs, a border collie, jumped out of the dog yard, wriggled his head and shoulders into the live trap, and cleaned up the meat in the live trap. Then, his evening snack finished, he nonchalantly returned to his enclosure.
The keepers didn’t think that the border collie was responsible for killing the birds, only that he figured out a way to get an extra midnight snack. The “killer raccoon” was never caught although the night-time killings stopped soon after.