A giraffe was dismembered and placed in a rubbish bin following its death, and an outraged US mayor ordered an investigation into it.
Mayor Richard Berry of Albuquerque said through a spokesman that he will take appropriate action when he finds out who is responsible.
He ordered a report on the incident at the Rio Grande Zoo in New Mexico to be done by Friday morning.
"This is nothing short of outrageous and the mayor has expressed that very publicly. This is unacceptable behavior from a city employee," said mayoral spokesman Chris Ramirez.
The giraffe, Kashka, suffered a debilitating leg injury after a recent fall. Zoo officials said attempts to treat her condition would not be successful, so veterinarians decided last week to put to sleep the 16-year-old giraffe that stood 15-feet tall and weighed about 2,000 pounds.
Kashka was born at the Miami Metro Zoo on January 3, 1994. She arrived at the Rio Grande Zoo later that year and went on to have six calves over the years.
"She was a good mother and we're very, very sad and we're embarrassed and upset," said Betty Rivera, the director of the city's cultural services department, which oversees the zoo.