CANBERRA, AU – In a shocking incident at the National Zoo and Aquarium in Canberra, a 29-year-old woman was fatally stabbed, sending shockwaves through the local community and beyond. The victim, an employee at the zoo, was found with multiple stab wounds in a storeroom behind the zoo’s commercial kitchen. The tragedy unfolded on a Monday afternoon when emergency services rushed to the scene after reports of screams were heard.
The suspect, a 29-year-old man and co-worker of the victim was found with self-inflicted wounds and taken into police custody. He was later charged with murder following a bedside hearing at Canberra Hospital, where he was initially treated under police guard. The man, from Oaks Estate, was refused bail during the hearing.
The incident has deeply affected the close-knit Bhutanese community in Canberra, as the victim was a citizen of Bhutan. The Royal Bhutanese Embassy confirmed her nationality and expressed deep sorrow over the tragic event. The embassy, in close contact with the victim’s family, requested privacy for them during this difficult time. The community has rallied around the bereaved family, offering support and condolences.
The zoo, a popular attraction in the city, was closed the day following the incident, with plans to resume operations shortly after. Representatives from the zoo released a statement on social media, expressing their grief over the “unfortunate events” and requesting privacy for their staff, who had experienced significant trauma. All staff members were offered access to trauma counseling, and the zoo’s Jamala Wildlife Lodge was scheduled to remain closed until the end of December, reopening subject to staff sentiments and availability.
This incident has raised concerns about violence against women in Australia. Acting Opposition Leader Sussan Ley described the murder as “another horrific tragedy,” highlighting the alarming number of women killed by someone they know. Ley called for urgent action to address what she termed a national crisis of violence against women.
The Canberra police, while undertaking a thorough homicide investigation, have stated that there is no ongoing threat to the public. The man charged with the murder is expected to face court again in April.
This tragic event has left the community in mourning and has sparked discussions about workplace safety and the broader issue of violence against women in society.