Two of the Belgrade Zoo's kangaroos died Wednesday, one of them a baby that got loose in downtown Belgrade and was killed by an apparent hit-and-run driver, police said.

Witnesses spotted the baby kangaroo and called authorities, but by the time officers arrived it was dead, senior officer Zeljko Perosevic said. The baby kangaroo had apparently escaped from the nearby zoo, he said.

"Unfortunately, there was nothing we could do," Perosevic said.

Perosevic said that the zoo then called to say that another kangaroo had been found dead there. He said an investigation, including autopsies, is under way to determine what happened.

The zoo said later that someone had jumped into a kangaroo cage, killed the mother and stole its baby.

"This is a classic example of vandalism," visibly shaken zoo director Vuk Bojovic said. He appealed to the police to find and punish the culprits.

A year ago, a kangaroo at the Belgrade zoo dropped her baby from her pouch after being scared by an emu and refused to let the tiny creature climb back in. The zoo requested help to get special kangaroo milk from Australia, the United States and Germany.

It was not clear whether they were the same kangaroos that died on Wednesday.