Mexico zoo chief accused of ordering pygmy goats to be killed and cooked for party | Mexico

The former director of a zoo in southern Mexico killed four of the zoo’s pygmy goats and served them up at a Christmas-season party, authorities have alleged.

“These four animals [were] slaughtered and cooked on the zoo’s premises, and were served as food at the year-end party,” said Fernando Ruiz Gutierrez, the state environment department’s director of wildlife, blaming the zoo’s director at the time, José Rubén Nava. “This put the health of the people who ate them at risk, because these animals were not fit for human consumption.”

Rubén Nava had been replaced as director of the local zoo in the city of Chilpancingo on 12 January following the death of a deer there. But officials said on Tuesday that an investigation found some animals in the zoo had allegedly been sold, traded or eaten under Nava’s orders.

The state environment department said deer and Watusi cattle were also traded to private individuals, without proper accounting.

Nava also allegedly traded a zebra for some tools needed to fix things around the zoo, but an inspection did not locate any such tools at the facility.

It was not clear if Nava had been formally charged in the case, or if he had a lawyer.

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 hospitalised with injuries to her legs, skull and a lung.

The lion also attacked two dogs and a cat. It was captured on Tuesday and sent to a local zoo.

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