A former director of a zoo in southern Mexico is facing serious charges of slaughtering the animals and trafficking certain species from the zoo during his tenure in office. According to officials, the former director slaughtered four of the zoo’s pygmy goats and served them as dinner in a Christmas party. Jose Rubén Nava is accused of carrying out a heinous operation in which he stole and sold hundreds of animals from Zoológico Zoochilpan in Chilpancingo, Guerrero’s capital.
Jose Ruben Nava was sacked as director of the local zoo on January 12 following the death of an animal. It was later discovered that he had killed a zebra and made weapons out of its bones. Not only this, many animals were smuggled out of the zoo and sold trades outside.
The most alarming charge, however, was made by Fernando Ruiz Gutierrez, the director of wildlife for the state environment department. He claimed that Nava murdered and roasted four of the zoo’s male pygmy goats for an end-of-year meal. He also said that this also posed a health risk for those consuming the meat as the pygmy goats were not fit for human consumption.
The entire scandal was discovered on January 14 when a neighbour of the zoo saw a wounded deer with dog bites and an injured leg near his home, according to the Spanis daily EL PAS. The deer was taken to the hospital and died a few days later. After an investigation was initiated, various atrocities committed by Nava against the animals were revealed, according to the report.
The locations of a jaguarundi, a coyote, ten reptiles, a baby macaw, and a red-tailed hawk remain unknown, while several births that occurred under Nava’s supervision were either not registered or were fraudulently reported as deaths, according to officials. The EL PAS report mentioned that Nava faces charges for species trafficking, animal mistreatment, and offences against health.
This incident has left a lot of people shocked as zoo officials generally form a compassionate bond with the animals.
Private parties collecting exotic animals illegally have long been an issue in Mexico. For years, drug traffickers in Mexico have been known to keep lions, tigers, and other wild creatures in personal zoos.
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