Country Music Star Tanya Tucker Speaks Out Against Special Memories Zoo In Wisconsin; Help Urge USDA To Investigate

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Country music legend Tanya Tucker has long been revered for her powerful voice; one that she is now using to advocate for animals at Special Memories Zoo in Greenville, Wisconsin.

In a published open letter, Tucker detailed the serious mistreatment of animals at a roadside zoo, which has been cited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) multiple times for Animal Welfare Act violations, including animals housed in filthy enclosures, lack of drinking water, and food contaminated with rodent droppings.

An endangered Bengal tiger at Special Memories, named after Tucker, also appeared to have a broken leg, which was untreated.

“When I raised this concern with the zookeeper, her response was, ‘Oh she’s just faking it,’ Tucker stated in the letter. “This did not seem like a reasonable or truthful response, or explanation. Animals don’t  ‘fake it.’

Tucker also mentions “pitiful Siberian bears” who were “sitting in and surrounded by mounds of their own feces,” a terrified jaguar who was “foaming at the mouth,” as well as a lion and a giraffe confined to very small cages who were exhibiting clear signs of stress.

Tucker has since teamed with the Animal Legal Defense Fund to urge the USDA to investigate and protect these species.

“I am a country singer, and I most often use my voice to make music. Today, I am using my voice to speak up for these mistreated animals,” Tucker said in a statement. “What I witnessed at the Special Memories Zoo was cruel, and it was wrong, and it must be stopped.”

“If the animals can’t be cared for properly, they should be left where they belong in the wild or with people that have the knowledge and means to properly care for them, so our children can gain knowledge from their visit and not sadness,” concluded Tucker.

Sadly, the problems at the Special Memories Zoo are not unique. Roadside zoos dot the American landscape, able to operate due to lax enforcement of existing laws on both a state and federal level. The Animal Legal Defense Fund files lawsuits across the United States to protect animals held in captivity at roadside zoos, and advocates for stronger laws and better enforcement of existing laws.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund is providing a way for animal supporters and Tanya Tucker fans to contact the USDA to express your concern HERE! 

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