A Virginia zoo director was arrested and eventually found guilty, of drowning a wallaby in a bucket of water and then tossing the creature in a dumpster. Meghan Mogensen, 26, was convicted on animal cruelty and illegal possession of animal anesthetics charges. According to police reports, the Reston Zoo director claimed she humanely killed the wallaby after it suffered an injury to eye, apparently the judge did not buy her version of events.
Toxicology tests and a necropsy found no signs of a needle puncture or drugs in the wallaby’s system, seeming to indicated that her version of events was less than truthful. Mogensen was sentenced to 30 days in jail for drowning the animal known as Parmesan. A now former Reston Zoo staffer found Parmesan soaking a plastic bag inside a dumpster, according to the Daily Mail.
Former curator and whistleblower, Ashley Rood, alerted authorities about the animal abuse at the zoo and testified against Mogensen at trial. Rood called the wallaby drowning just one instance of the inhumane animal killings at the Virginia zoo. She claims that the convicted director also slammed rabbits into walls, fed chickens to pythons and simply shot other animals.
Ashley Rood had this to say about the animal cruelty during interviews with ABC7 and the Vienna Patch:
“I ripped open the bag and I saw the animal and it solidified it for me. I didn’t think the eye could be salvaged but it could be removed by a vet. I told Ashley Mogensen other than that, he appears perfectly fine.”
Mogensen informed Rood that the Reston Zoo’s owner, Eric Mogensen, said the animal should be euthanized and that she would take care of the matter, according to court testimony. After finding the wallaby missing from its enclosure and a bucket of water sitting nearby, Rood figured out what had happened and ran to the dumpster and found the still wet wallaby inside. Rood noted she told Meghan that she thought both she and her zoo owner father were sadistic people and alerted authorities. Other zoos owned by Eric Mogensen have been scrutinized during the past several years, but the wallaby drowning is the first time charges have been levied, according to the Washington Post.