BERLIN A mayor in eastern Germany has filed charges against workers at his local zoo for shooting animals and selling them as meat.
A spokeswoman for the mayor's office said deer were among the animals killed and sold by workers at Erfurt Zoo without permission over a number of years.
"The case is now with the state prosecutors," said the spokeswoman, declining to give further details.
The German Animal Protection League demanded a review of controls at the zoo and at all other institutions with animals in the state of Thuringia.
"We are worried this is only the tip of the iceberg," said Wolfgang Apel, president of the League, who also said the case raised serious questions about the zoo's management.
Die Zeit newspaper quoted an anonymous zoo employee as saying the number of animals had been declining and: "It is high time something is done about it."
Erfurt Zoo, home to lions, elephants and giraffes as well as horses, donkeys, sheep and goats, declined to comment.
Animal rights campaigners and federal authorities have previously complained about the zoo's imports of wild elephants from South Africa.