Zoo Director Allegedly Cooked Zoo Animals for Party

Director of Mexican zoo faces numerous charges
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 2, 2023 10:45 AM CST
Zoo Chief Accused of Cooking Zoo Animals
Stock photo of a pygmy goat.   (Getty Images/Yurii Sliusar)

The director of a zoo in southern Mexico was more interested in selling, trading, and cooking the animals than in looking after them, authorities say. After Jose Ruben Nava was replaced as director of the Zoochilpan zoo in Chilpancingo last month following the death of a deer, investigators found there'd been multiple alleged abuses during the few months Nava was in charge, the AP reports. Fernando Ruiz Gutierrez, the state environment department's director of wildlife, said four of the zoo's 10 pygmy goats were slaughtered on the premises, cooked, and served at a year-end party.

Nava also sold or traded animals, including a zebra and four Watusi bulls, in deals that weren't properly accounted for, authorities say. He's also accused of falsely reporting animal deaths and failing to report animal births, El Pais reports. The whereabouts of at least 14 zoo animals, including a jaguarundi, a baby macaw, and 10 reptiles are unknown. Nava faces charges including species trafficking and animal abuse. Another government official says Nava also faces health charges because the pygmy goats "were not animals suitable for human consumption." (More zoo stories.)

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