Here’s an access tip for reporters and activists who follow animal welfare issues.

Did you know that federal Department of Agriculture investigates deaths of animals that die in zoos?

This could be handy to know in the wake of an announcement from the Indianapolis Zoo concerning the dolphin that died suddenly in late June.

The USDA inspects zoos and has the responsibility to check on animal welfare. Reports are disclosable under the Freedom of Information Act. The Washington Post has also done stories by checking out records available under the Federal Advisory Committee Act.