Deliberations Continue as Seven Witnesses Testify in Natural Bridge Zoo Animal Cruelty Case

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The jury trial for an animal cruelty case in Rockbridge County, Virginia, is underway, with seven witnesses taking the stand on Tuesday, February 27th. The case, which centers around alleged mistreatment of animals at the Natural Bridge Zoo, has garnered significant attention. Amy Taylor, lead investigator from the office of the attorney general, testified that a tip from PETA prompted the investigation. To ensure impartiality, Taylor recruited a Powhatan County Animal Control Officer who was unfamiliar with the zoo and its employees to conduct an undercover visit.

During the trial, Sergeant Christine Boczar, the undercover officer, described her observations during the visit. Boczar testified that she witnessed a dead goat in an enclosure with other animals, as well as animals living in dirty or unfit habitats and exhibiting signs of injury or illness. Taylor also revealed that during the investigation in December, over 50 dead animals and various animal body parts were discovered in garbage bags, tarps, and trash cans in freezers on the zoo premises.

However, the defense is arguing that some of these points may be taken out of context. They contend that it is not uncommon for zoos to freeze dead animals for later use in museums or for veterinary training purposes. Additionally, they raised questions about the condition of the habitats, suggesting that the investigators arrived before the usual feeding and cleaning routines had taken place, and questioned why Boczar did not report the dead goat during her visit.

The trial will resume on Wednesday, February 28th at 8:30 a.m. 

Note: The article has been rewritten in AP News Style and does not quote any news sources.