An investigation was launched yesterday by authorities involving a petting zoo in Oklahoma City that is affiliated with the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park (G. W. Zoo).
The questionable organization is known for breeding big-cat cubs which are tragically separated from their mothers at four weeks of age or younger to be used for photo ops or transferred to other shady exhibitors throughout the country, according to a Press Release issued yesterday by PETA.
As per the release, the recently opened Neon Jungle petting zoo exhibits and sells “playtime” with baby animals including a lemur, tiger, bear, and possibly a wolf-dog hybrid. The cubs are reportedly prominently displayed in a storefront at a Plaza Mall.
As reported by the Oklahoman, Neon Jungle’s owner, Jeff Lowe, had been transporting the baby animals from a zoo in Wynnewood to Oklahoma City each day since it opened in March.
On its website the news outlet also revealed that the Wynnewood Zoo was originally founded by big cat breeder “Joe Exotic.”
Oklahoma City Animal Welfare Superintendent Jonathan Gary confirmed in the article that a city ordinance prohibits exotic animals from being kept in city.
Lowe, meanwhile, has claimed that Oklahoma City Animal Welfare officers recently inspected his business and found that he was operating within the law.
“Tearing cubs away from their mothers to shove in a shopping mall or ship across the country is the bread and butter at G. W. Zoo and its affiliates,” said PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet. “PETA is calling on federal and state officials to crack down on G. W. Zoo, Neon Jungle, and any other business that profits from animals’ misery.”
PETA has also requested for the USDA to investigate others zoos throughout the country that have reportedly recently acquired big neonatal cats from G. W. Zoo such as Special Memories Zoo in Greenville Wisconsin.
Among its many offenses, according to a previous article published in the Post-Crescent, a 2015 USDA inspection of Special Memories Zoo found rodent droppings surrounding animals food, empty water bowls, and soiled bedding. A 2014 inspection found a pile of feces about a foot wide and at least 6 inches tall inside a shelter for the animals.
The fact that Special Memories Zoo is still in operation in and of itself is a travesty.
Joe Exotic for President?
WAN once again does not condone zoos that exploit animals, period.
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