Watchdogs probe Buffalo Zoo’s management amid animal cruelty claims

The Associated Press – BILLY ZOO, Tenn.

(AP) After a series of recent animal deaths, the Buffalo Zoo in Tennessee is now facing a new challenge: what to do about a man who has been charged with multiple felonies for animal cruelty.

The Associated Press obtained court documents that detail the charges against the man, Steven Williams, in connection with the death of a giraffe in his care.

The court documents show Williams is charged with four felonies, including murder, for killing the giraffe, and with two counts of animal cruelty, including the killing of an adult giraffe that died after a catheter was put into its neck.

A video of the giraffar’s death went viral, drawing national attention to the plight of wild animals.

Williams is also charged with animal cruelty for allegedly kicking the girass’ head off, causing serious injuries to the animal and setting it on fire.

Williams was not arrested.

The zoo declined to comment.

The Associated American Press contributed to this report.