The former director of a zoo in western Mexico state of Guerrero has been accused of killing and cooking four pygmy goats for a holiday dinner in December
José Nava ordered the small goats slaughtered for a bbq party around Christmas Zoochilpan Zoo in Chilpancingo, Wild Life Department director Fernando Ruiz revealed Wednesday.
‘This put the health of the people who ate them at risk, because these animals were not fit for human consumption,’ Ruiz said.
In response to the accusations, Nava held court with local reporters and said that ‘the fact that we ate some goats does not mean that it was the ones from the zoo. That’s totally false.’
Nava was fired from his zoo post January 12 after a deer was found dead there.
Investigators said that he failed to get proper care for the sick deer and provided the animal anti-inflammatory drug before it died.
As part of an investigation following the deer’s death, the Wild Life Department found that a zebra was traded for tools. However, inspectors were unable to locate any tools at the zoo.
The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources said that in December, Nava sold four Watusi cows to Juan Jiménez for 65,000 pesos (about $3,480), but the money was never reported to the zoo.
In January, he traded a zebra to René Trujillo for an unknown number of deers, which are not at the zoo and whose whereabouts have not been revealed.
Nava also sold nine Barbary sheep for 54,000 pesos (approximately $2,900) and altered the information on the invoice. He only reported 6,500 pesos (around $348) which he said was used to purchase a printer.
Investigators also said that a macaw, a jaguar and 10 snakes were also missing from the zoo.
Nava swapped the zebras for tools that were required to make repairs at the zoo. However, inspectors were unable to locate any tools at the zoo.
Mexico has long had a problem with private citizens illegally acquiring exotic animals. For years, drug traffickers in Mexico have been known to build private menageries of lions, tigers and other wild animals. They sometimes escape, sowing panic.
In the central city of Aguascalientes, state police said a loose lion attacked and seriously injured a woman on the patio of her home. The lion apparently escaped from a nearby home. The woman was hospitalized with injuries to her legs, skull and a lung.
The lion also attacked two dogs and a cat. It was captured Tuesday and sent to a local zoo.