Iconic giants face an uncertain future, their decline going almost unnoticed.
The animal's previous owners were denied their request to reclaim him.
Police are investigating a complaint from the governor of the local Samanco district, who said the sea mammals had been poisoned.
The agency looks to the public for help locating nine fugitives suspected of committing serious environmental crimes.
The country hopes the move will convince international opponents it is conducting genuine scientific research on expeditions in the region.
Police and fire officials are searching the area and an area of woodland had been roped off, local authorities say.
The legislation would ban keeping the pets at home or walking them in public.
Scientists believe they've achieved a breakthrough in combating the sexually-transmitted disease ravaging the native marsupial.
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