A man who entered a Mexican park and killed 32 captive deer with the dogs under his control has been charged by prosecutors in Puebla, central Mexico. On 12th October 2022, the State Attorney General’s Office (FGE) said that on 6th June the man, only named Ricardo N, entered the holding pen at the Volcanic Park, in San Juan Arcos Ojo de Agua, within the municipality of Chalchicomula on the slopes of the Pico de Orizaba volcano, with several dogs of various breeds and encouraged them to bite the deers until all 32 died. 

Puebla state law establishes prison sentences of four to eight years for animal abuse crimes that result in the death of the animal. A Judge set bail for the accused and ordered him not to leave the state, approach witnesses, or go to the park facilities; he ordered him to periodically sign in with the authorities. 

The Volcanic Park is a nature and adventure theme park that, theoretically, is intended to educate about the environment around the highest mountain in Mexico. However, it is a tourist attraction,  with more than 30 activities that range from an animal farm, a small aviary, a terrarium with reptiles, and a deer “shelter”. Therefore, it is in fact a zoo that keeps many animals captive, and it appears that the deer killed were also kept captive in a pen. Had the deer been free, many might have been able to escape the attack of the dogs, so one should ask whether the owners of the park might have been somehow negligent for failing to provide enough security for the animals they keep. This is another example of how zoos, whether they are small in a city or bigger in the countryside, are not safe places for animals.  

“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.