Nashville animal science teacher charged after emu dies

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee authorities say a Nashville area high school teacher is facing a misdemeanor animal cruelty charge after an emu kept in her care at the school died.

News outlets report 33-year-old Jessica Lumpkins was charged Wednesday after Metro Animal Care and Control discovered that an emu at McGavock High School had died. Animal control says four alpacas in the care of Lumpkins, an animal sciences teacher, had died at the school previously.

Public Health Department spokesman Brian Todd says inspectors, on surprise visits, had told Lumpkins the animals were inadequately fed and kennels weren’t clean. Todd says Lumpkins was told the emu appeared thin and that when officers returned, the emu was dead.

Metro Schools spokeswoman Olivia Brown says the remaining animals will be relocated.

Lumpkins couldn’t immediately be located for comment.