Mexican zookeeper accused of slaughtering rare goats for holiday dinner

The zookeeper in Mexico was also accused of trafficking rare animals.

Petting the goat, Iza Paziza, at Moshav Tal Shahar (photo credit: MAYA MAYMONI)
Petting the goat, Iza Paziza, at Moshav Tal Shahar
(photo credit: MAYA MAYMONI)

The director of the Mexican zoo has been accused of slaughtering four rare pygmy goats and several other animals and serving them as food to guests at the zoo’s holiday party.

Jose Ruben Nava, the former director of the zoo, has been replaced since the incident came to light.

Fernando Ruiz Gutierrez, the Guerrero state Environment Department’s director of wildlife, stated in a video that, “this put the health of the people who ate them at risk because these animals were not fit for human consumption.”

It is currently unknown if the guests were aware of what they were eating.

What are pygmy goats?

The goats are a small and rare breed, evolved from the West African Dwarf goat.

Baby goat (credit: MAXIMILLIAN POGONY)Baby goat (credit: MAXIMILLIAN POGONY)

If allowed to live out their natural lifespan, the goats live between 10 and 15 years. They are often kept as pets as they are known for their friendliness.

Males of the species can weigh from 27-39 kg and females can weigh between 24-34 kg. 

The suspect committed other crimes

Authorities have claimed that Nava was also involved with trafficking animals. They alleged that he sold and traded animals for money, goods and services. On one occasion, Nava allegedly traded a zebra for tools to fix a zoo facility. The tools have not yet been recovered.

It is also alleged that Nava sold a deer and four rare Watusi cattle to private citizens. The death of the deer at a nearby home is what caused the police to begin investigating Nava.

Several animals are still missing, including a jaguarundi, a coyote, 10 different reptiles, a baby macaw and a red-tailed hawk.

Nava has denied all allegations and claimed to be the victim of the environmental department’s grudge.