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Va. zoo director pleads guilty in drowning of wounded wallaby

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RESTON, Va. – The director of the Reston Zoo in Virginia has pleaded guilty to animal cruelty as part of a deal with prosecutors in connection with the alleged drowning of an injured wallaby, according to the Washington Post.

Meghan Mogensen of Silver Spring, Md., was sentenced to a month in jail for animal cruelty and possession of an animal euthanasia drug without a license.

Mogensen was found guilty of animal cruelty and drug possession charges back in September. She pleaded guilty in a deal with prosecutors. She was supposed to begin the appeal of her 30-day sentence on Feb. 13.

Ashley Rood, a former zoo employee, testified in September a wallaby named ‘Parmesan’ suffered an eye injury while in its pen in January 2012.

Rood said Mogensen’s father, Eric, wanted to euthanize the animal.

Rood testified she later found the animal’s wet body inside a trash bag in a dumpster. She said she found the animal’s crate next to a spigot and a bucket of water and she suspected Meghan Mogensen had drowned the animal.

Following an investigation, prosecutors determined Mogensen tried to cover up the animal drowning by forging a euthanasia report.

Mogensen’s attorney told the Washington Post his client was “acting out of compassion” for the wallaby, who suffered a serious injury. He contended she injected the wallaby with a drug, but did not drown it.

Source: Washington Post