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Four rare San Diego Zoo animals died of dehydration during a five-day cross-country truck trip, and the incident is the subject of an investigation by an industry group, a zoo spokesman said Wednesday.

Nine other animals transported in the same truck survived the trip in late April but arrived in a state of dehydration at three recipient zoos, the Bronx Zoo, the Atlanta Zoo and the Capron Park Zoo in Attleboro, Mass., San Diego Zoo spokesman Jeff Jouett said.All four dead animals - a female sloth bear, a male fishing cat and two palm civets, small cats native to Southeast Asia - were to be loaned to the Capron Park Zoo.

"We're just furious. Losing a third of a shipment of animals is unprecedented in our experience," Jouett said. "By comparison, in 1989, we sent 410 mammals to different destinations and only two of those died."