ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (CBS) Beloved Albuquerque zoo giraffe Kashka, whose dismembered corpse was found rotting in an area landfill last week, has touched off outrage from zoo officials and the mayor's office.
Albuquerque's Cultural Services Director Betty Rivera, whose office oversees the city's Rio Grande Zoo, said the way Kashka was handled is shocking.
"It is totally inappropriate and something that should outrage everyone," Rivera told CBS affiliate KRQE.
Kashka was euthanized last week after suffering a debilitating leg injury and was dismembered as part of a routine necropsy - but what happened next was far from routine.
A zoo employee apparently threw the body in a zoo dumpster with other trash, instead of taking the giraffe to an area designated for dead animals at the landfill. A garbage truck eventually took the dumpster containing the deceased giraffe to a local landfill.
Dead animals can be taken to the landfill, but it is against city laws to leave them in a trash can or dumpster for a garbage truck to collect, according to an Albuquerque city ordinance.
Albuquerque Mayor R. J. Berry's office has launched a full investigation into what went wrong.