A former zoo director in Mexico killed four of the zoo’s pygmy goats and served them up at a Christmas party, authorities said.
Officials said an investigation found some of the animals in the local zoo’s collection in the southern city of Chilpancingo had allegedly been sold off, traded or eaten under Jose Ruben Nava’s orders.
But the most shocking accusation was made by the state environment department’s director of wildlife who said Nava had four of the zoo’s male pygmy goats killed and cooked for an end-of-year banquet.
Fernando Ruiz Gutierrez said: “These four animals slaughtered and cooked on the zoo’s premises, and were served as food at the year-end party.
“This put the health of the people who ate them at risk because these animals were not fit for human consumption.”
The state environment department said a zebra was traded for tools, and deer and Watusi cattle were traded off to private individuals, without proper accounting.
It was not clear if Nava had been formally charged in the case or if he had a lawyer.
Nava was replaced as director of the zoo on 12 January following the death of a deer there.
He also allegedly traded the zoo’s zebra for some tools needed to fix things around the site, but an inspection did not locate any such tools at the facility.
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.