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Update: Victory! ‘Serenity Springs’ Roadside Zoo Slapped Down by Feds

Written by PETA | November 11, 2013

Update: Recently released government records show that after PETA submitted extensive comments with supporting evidence of how Serenity Springs Wildlife Center is a cruel environment for the endangered animals it already has in its clutches, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) denied the roadside zoo’s application for a permit to breed more. The FWS told Serenity Springs that because U.S. Department of Agriculture inspection reports—which PETA supplied to the FWS—revealed “serious violations of the Animal Welfare Act, we are unable to find that you meet the issuance requirement of having adequate expertise, facilities, and resources to conduct your intended purpose.”

We’re hopeful that the FWS will also deny breeding permits to other chronic Animal Welfare Act violators, such as the notorious Hawthorn Corporation and Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.

Originally posted July 31, 2013.

PETA has filed formal comments with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) opposing an application by Serenity Springs, a disreputable Colorado-based pseudo-sanctuary, for a permit to breed captive endangered animals.

Zoos, pseudo-sanctuaries, marine parks, traveling zoos, roadside zoos, and other similar attractions imprison animals who long to be free in order to profit from the people who come to gawk.

YayAdrien cc by 2.0

It’s hard to imagine any facility less qualified to meet the requirements for a breeding permit under the Endangered Species Act. Serenity Springs has an appalling record of mortalities—by its own admission, approximately one-third of its animals have died in the past five years. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), many of these deaths involved improper handling and/or denial of veterinary care—and the agency has dozens of charges for Animal Welfare Act violations pending against Serenity Springs.

Tigers are held captive in dismal conditions at roadside zoos across America. Even the best artificial environments can’t come close to matching the space, diversity, and freedom that animals have in their natural habitats. 

Canadian Starhawk | cc by 2.0

In the FWS filing, PETA also notes that the permit application contains misleading and incomplete statements about animals’ deaths. For example, the death of a tiger named Nala is conspicuously omitted from the required list of mortalities. According to the USDA, Serenity Springs manager Nick Sculac (who is not a veterinarian) diagnosed Nala as having cancer and then, rather than obtaining veterinary care for her, gave the tiger “three doses of a sedative, unsuccessfully attempted to inject Nala with euthanasia solution, and ultimately killed Nala by cutting her throat, and reported to Colorado officials that Nala had died of natural causes.”

What You Can Do

Next time you pass any roadside zoo, please just keep on driving—these cruel operations stay in business only because people patronize them.

Commenting is closed.
  • k says:

    Florida bears and big cats should be brought to the Appalachian Mts since
    theres too much development here in FL and its too hot for animals and most mammals
    anyway. Construction of any kind should be limited to
    only previously developed or abandoned property. Preserve Ocala National Forest and surrounding areas, as well as the Everglades and Merritt Island National Seashore, etc.
    Conservatives unite! Preserve and protect the U.S. The animals are probably already
    migrating to the mountains anyway.

  • k says:

    Animals in zoos and aquariums should be rotated back to their habitats. There should be
    restrictions on capturing wildlife since many are threatened species or almost extincted by
    people. Otherwise my vote for zoos and aquariums is nada. I refuse to go to Sea world until they return the orcas to their habitats and discontinue using them at all.
    If you love animals so much, let them live in their homes, environments. It’s illegal incarcaration.

    Animals in zoos and aquariums should be rotated back to their habitats. Reforest, rewildlife… Reef plugs attempt to revive reefs. We need forest and wildlife plugs to do
    the same thing.

    If you are a zoo and aquarium fan… the animals should be returned to their homes.
    Wouldnt it be nicer to see animals with a Park Ranger or Tour Guide
    and see them in their natural habitat?