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Field Trips to Roadside Zoo Rate an ‘F’

Written by Jennifer O'Connor | January 13, 2012

Update: After a PETA staffer swore out a complaint against Henry Hampton, Lazy 5′s owner, Hampton finally made arrangements to trim two giraffes’  painfully overgrown hooves. Because he delayed the critical procedure and caused one giraffe to suffer for more than a year, PETA is calling for prosecutors to pursue cruelty-to-animals charges against him. However, PETA is open to dropping the charges if Hampton promises the court that he’ll adhere to a continual regimen of appropriate hoof care.

The following was originally posted December, 14, 2011.

North Carolina’s Lazy 5 Ranch should be the last place that schools take children on field trips, unless the trip is meant to teach children about how cruelly animals are treated in roadside zoos. But visiting Lazy 5 is exactly what some local schools are doing.

In the last year and a half, federal authorities have cited Lazy 5 for 21 violations of animal welfare laws, and the feds have also opened a formal investigation into the roadside zoo. One giraffe‘s hooves are so overgrown that she has to walk on her heels. She has suffered this painful, debilitating condition for more than a year.

The zoo has also been cited for leaving a deer to languish with a hernia for more than a month after euthanasia was recommended, failing to properly care for a deer with a large wound that was infested with flies, failing to shear sheep who were left panting in heavy fleece in 86-degree weather, and allowing dangerous, unsupervised public contact with animals. The list goes on and on, and PETA is appealing to all local schools to stay away.

If your local school takes children on field trips to the zoo or circus, click here for tips on reaching out to your principal to get these cruel field trips off the list.

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  • Biology Lover says:

    In response to Mary’s question: Giraffes in the wild often roam long distances over rough terrain while grazing for food. This constant walking and running over the coarse terrain actually acts to naturally keep Giraffe hooves trimmed. In captivity they often lack the same type of terrain and necessary room to achieve the same effect that their natural behavior in the wild has on their hooves. I included two easy to use sites with a tiny bit of information on giraffes, as well as an article which reinforces the fact that maintaining giraffes in captivity is very difficult. Exotic animals should really not be kept in captivity just for the purpose of turning a profit. It is unfortunate that roadside zoos and other attractions similar to this one are allowed to obtain licensing and community support to continue improperly caring for animals that require care far beyond their abilities. Other than the two web address I’ve included you can always use your search engine to find more indepth information if you wanted to do so. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2051728/Sophie-giraffe-gets-pedicure-Dudley-Zoo-staff-trim-overgrown-hooves.html http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/giraffe/

  • Mary says:

    I completely disagree with improper treatment of animals, but I just have one question about this post. If the giraffe lived in the wild, who would clip his hooves?

  • chrissie says:

    How can people do these terrible things, like not look after animals that they are responsible for. If you can not afford exotic animals or have no idea how to look after them then do not have them in the first place.People mistreating animals makes me and I am sure other people who also care extremely angry.

  • Christine says:

    poor giraffe and the other animals. but i’m sure not all zoos are this bad.

  • Goblin says:

    Or maybe the students were being bad there so they got graded f?

  • Rev. Meg Schramm says:

    Maby the teachers should explain to the students that the Lazy 5 ranch is correctly named, seeing as how all the animals are in such poor condition. Then they could march the classes back to the ticket booth and demand the return of their money, saying “All my students learned here today was how NOT to treat animals. We want our money back NOW, please!”

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