Fairfax County Police have charged the director of the with animal cruelty and improper possession of a controlled substance after an investigation into a wallaby's death at the zoo.
Meghan Mogensen, 26, of Silver Spring, was arrested on Friday, police said.
The investigation into the
Animal Control Officers were alerted in January to a situation at the facility, at 1228 Hunter Mill Road in Vienna, after an employee complained of suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of an adult wallaby.
On Jan. 26, officers opened an investigation relating to allegations of improper treatment of injured animals and improper use of euthanasia drugs. A search warrant was executed on Feb. 16.
According to the search warrant, an employee told a police officer he had put the wallaby (similar to a small kangaroo) in a crate. He later observed the empty crate next to a water spigot with a five gallon bucket of water.
The warrant says the employee jumped into a dumpster and found a trash bag containing the dead wallaby.
The zoo director told police she euthanized the wallaby by injection with a drug called Beauthanasia and the animal was disposed of properly. However, police said earlier the Reston Zoo does not have the training and certification to do that.
Zoo employees could not be reached for comment when police released news of the arrest on Sunday.
The investigation is still ongoing, police said. Animal Control Officers are working jointly with the United States Department of Agriculture, Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and other entities that ensure proper protocols involving humane animal euthanasia, treatment and practices are used.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Solvers by phone at 1-866-411-TIPS/8477, e-mail at www.fairfaxcrimesolvers.org or text “TIP187” plus your message to CRIMES/274637 or call Fairfax County Police at 703-691-2131.