Mexico City –
A former director of a zoo in southern Mexico killed four of the zoo’s pygmy goats and served them at a party during the Christmas season, officials said.
Jose Rubén Nava was replaced as director after a deer died at the local zoo in Chilpancingo City on January 12th.
But officials said Tuesday that an investigation found that some of the animals in the zoo’s collection had been sold, traded or eaten on Nava’s orders.
The state’s environmental agency said zebras were traded for tools and deer, and Watusi cattle were traded for individuals without proper explanation.
It is not clear if Nava was formally charged in the case or had an attorney.
But the most shocking accusation was made by Fernando Luis Gutierrez, director of wildlife at the State Department of Environment. He said Nava killed four of the zoo’s male pygmy goats and cooked them for an end-of-year banquet.
“These four animals were slaughtered and cooked on the zoo’s premises and served as a year-end party meal,” said Luis Gutierrez.
“These animals are not fit for human consumption, so the health of those who ate them was endangered,” he said.
Nava is also said to have replaced the zoo’s zebras with the tools needed to repair things around the zoo, but inspections found no such tools at the facility.
Mexico has a long-standing problem of illegal acquisition of non-native animals by civilians. For years Mexican drug traffickers have been known to build private menageries of lions, tigers and other wild animals. They sometimes run away and sow panic.
In the central city of Aguascalientes, state police said a rampaging lion attacked and seriously injured a woman on the patio of her home. The lion seems to have escaped from a nearby house. The woman was hospitalized with injuries to her leg, skull and lungs.
The lion also attacked two dogs and a cat. It was caught on Tuesday and sent to the local zoo.