Zoo Worker Charged With Attempted Animal Cruelty

WASHINGTON (AP) — Authorities say a researcher at the National Zoo in Washington has been charged with attempted animal cruelty.

According to the Washington Humane Society, Nico Dauphine is accused of poisoning feral cats in her Columbia Heights neighborhood. The charge of attempted cruelty to animals is a misdemeanor carrying a maximum penalty of 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.

An attorney for Daupine told WRC-TV that she denies the accusations, saying “her whole life is devoted to the care and welfare of animals.”

Dauphine, who works at the zoo’s Migratory Bird Center, has written articles casting cats as a major enemy of wild bird species.

Court records show she was charged on May 11.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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