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USDA inspection report shows Reston, Va., Zoo, where wallaby euthanasia prompted cruelty charges, had history of care violations

10:31 PM, Jun 25, 2012   |    comments
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RESTON, Va. (WUSA) - Documents obtained by WUSA9 indicate the wallaby at the center of an animal cruelty investigation at the Reston Zoo was not the only animal mistreated.

A USDA February 2012 inspection report identified euthanasia, frostbite, and an injured spider monkey left in pain as major problems.

The USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service report cited the Reston Zoo with six violations, including cages that exposed a spider monkey to such cold temperatures the "hands and feet of the animal became frostbitten."

Inspectors also cited the zoo for improperly treating the spider monkey's "superficial cuts on his hands and feet," indicated the "veterinarian was not contacted" and "the pain the animal received from its injury was not relieved promptly."

Inspectors also cited the Reston Zoo in connection with the wallaby euthanasia.

The same euthanasia led to the arrest in Fairfax County of zoo director Meghan Mogensen on Friday.

The report indicates the wallaby had "severe face and head injury."

Again, inspectors cited the zoo because the attending veterinarian was not contacted.

The report indicates an "anesthetic overdose of xylazine was used to euthanize" the wallaby.

Click here to see a WUSA9 report that the animal may have been put to death by drowning.

According to a 2011 USDA inspection, the Reston Zoo had significant health issues including eye and skin irritations, lameness, diarrhea, and stillbirths.

During the inspection, the zoo was cited for not having a veterinary program in place to prevent disease and injury.

WUSA9 reported on Saturday that Animal Control Officers arrested the 26-year-old Reston Zoo director after a five-month-long investigation.

According to Fairfax County Police, Meghan Mogensen of Silver Spring was charged with animal cruelty and possession of a controlled substance after supposed improper treatment of a sick wallaby, and the improper use of euthanasia drugs.

After following up on the death of an adult wallaby at the Reston Zoo located at 1228 Hunter Mill Road, Fairfax County Police started an investigation dealing with Mogensen's alleged improper treatment of injured animals.

As of Monday night, the zoo had not responded to a request for comment about the USDA inspections.

This story was updated to correct the date of the USDA inspection documenting the spider monkey frostbite and wallaby euthanasia inspection report. 

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