Zoo Director Allegedly Cooks Four of Its Ten Pigmy Goats for New Year’s Feast

A former zoo director in the Mexican city of Chilpancingo has been officially accused of a series of wrongdoings during his time in office, including cooking pigmy goats for a staff party.

José Rubén Nava Noriega is probably a prime candidate for the title of the world’s worst zoo director. During his time managing the local zoo in the city of Chilpancingo, Noriega allegedly sold animals illegally, failed to properly record animal births and deaths, somehow lost several animals, and, probably most shocking of all, he slaughtered and cooked four out of the zoo’s ten pigmy goats for a New Year’s staff feast.

Photo: Peter Lloyd/Unsplash

It all started on January 14, when a farmer from the Mexican state of Guerrero found an injured deer on his property and called the authorities. The animal had several bite marks on its body and an injured leg. It was established that the deer had escaped from the Chilpancingo Zoo, so it was taken back there to be treated. Unfortunately, the animal died a few days later, and an investigation found that its wounds had been sutured without anesthesia, and its antlers cut off for no justifiable reason.

However, the case of the escaped deer was apparently only the tip of the iceberg. José Rubén Nava Noriega, who had only been the director of Chilpancingo Zoo for a few months, was involved in several other shady dealings. Investigators found that he had authorized animal trades with fake invoices to justify the money transfers, and had arranged the transfer of rare watusi bulls in exchange for building materials and tools that were nowhere to be found.

The investigation also revealed that several species, including 10 reptiles, a jagurundi, a coyote and several birds were missing from the zoo, as were four of the ten pigmy goats. As it turns out, José Rubén Nava Noriega allegedly had the four goats slaughtered and served to the staff at a New Year’s party…


“These actions put the health of consumers at risk, because they were not animals suitable for human consumption,” the Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources of Guerrero told El Pais Mexico.

Noriega denies having slaughtered the four pigmy goats, but authorities claim that they have enough evidence to prove that he did in fact authorize staff to kill and cook the animals. The director has since been fired and is still under investigation.

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