Dozens of police hunted through an Australian zoo Friday after being tipped off that a murder suspect may have been hiding out among the animals. Police closed down the Western Plains Zoo in the town of Dubbo, 410 kilometers (255 miles) northwest of Sydney, as they combed the area for the suspect identified as Malcolm Nader. He is wanted in the slaying of 24-year-old Kristy Scholes and the disappearance of his cousin, Leteesha Nolan.
Scholes' body was discovered June 22. Leteesha Nolan has been missing since Jan. 4. "There's been a sighting and we have reason to suspect he may be hiding out in the zoo," a New South Wales state police spokeswoman said on the police force's customary condition of anonymity. "We're conducting a search of the interior, and there'll be the exterior to go after that."
About 60 police and a police helicopter were sent to search the zoo, which is home to animals including lions, giraffes and rhinos.
Animals such as giraffes and wildebeest wander around large enclosures at the sprawling zoo while big cats such as lions and tigers are kept in large cages, reports the AP. I.L.