Austin zookeepers fired after newspaper investigates animal mistreatment

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In this Thursday, March 7, 2019 photo, Bulera grabs a half head of cabbage before heading back into the gorilla house with her adopted baby Gandai during the pair’s first excursion into the gorilla yard of the Jacksonville Zoo in Jacksonville, Fla. The 30-year-old gorilla has become a surrogate mother to the baby gorilla whose […]

Three zookeepers have been fired from the Austin Zoo following a newspaper’s investigation into animal mistreatment that quoted one of the workers detailing how a sick monkey was kept alive that zookeepers believed needed to be euthanized.

Zoo board members say all decisions were made based on violations of professional conduct.

Kris Ledoux says she was suspended after the Austin American-Statesman published its investigation in January. The zoo says Ledoux was terminated Feb. 23 for insubordination.

The newspaper reports the zoo’s attorney also questioned Nikki Steffan and Stephanie Crider about whether they had contributed to the story. Neither was quoted in the article. Crider says both were fired Feb. 28 for reasons that included taking lunches longer than 30 minutes.

The newspaper reported that most of the zoo workers it interviewed described an unwillingness by zoo leadership to euthanize suffering animals, among other concerns.

Information from: Austin American-Statesman,

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