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— A beloved Rio Grande Zoo giraffe was dismembered and placed in a trash bin following its death, and an outraged mayor of Albuquerque has ordered an investigation into it.
"This is nothing short of outrageous and the mayor has expressed that very publicly. This is unacceptable behavior from a city employee," said mayoral spokesman Chris Ramirez.
Instead of following protocol and taking the giraffe to the landfill, a zoo worker put the dismembered giraffe carcass in a bin near the zoo
The 16-year-old giraffe was euthanized Thursday because of a debilitating leg injury. But instead of burying her in a landfill, which is the standard procedure, a zoo employee dumped her dismembered body in a garbage bin instead.
Betty Rivera is the director of cultural services and says that’s not the way carcasses are handled.
“It's dishonorable to the animal and it dishonors our city and our employees," said Rivera.
She says the zoo employee has been identified as John Cordova, who’s been with the zoo for ten years and normally does construction. He also uses large equipment to move the bodies of big animals.
Cordova was supposed to take Kashka to the landfill, but a trash collector later found her dismembered body in a garbage bin.
"This employee has done this before, taken an animal to the landfill, and this time he just short stepped it," said Rivera.
A city worker said he's being targeted by officials for blowing the whistle on the dumping of a giraffe corpse.
Rocky Gutierrez is a union representative who is speaking on behalf of the solid waste worker who found the carcass of a city zoo giraffe last week in a trash bin.
The remains were supposed to be taken to the landfill, but a zoo worker discarded the giraffe in a trash bin at the zoo.
Upset over the circumstances, that worker leaked the story and pictures to the media.