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Zoo Also Breeds New Babies Only to Leave Them to Uncertain FateFor Immediate Release:January 14, 2010
Contact:Lisa Wathne 757-622-7382
Reno, Nev. -- In response to Sierra Safari Zoo's annual winter fundraising appeal, PETA has sent a letter to zoo owner Dale McDaniel urging him to end the animal park's practice of breeding and acquiring more animals--including a liger the zoo has recently publicized--while selling off other animals at the same time.
PETA points out that cute baby animals quickly grow into adults who continue to require food, housing, and veterinary care even as their appeal to human visitors wanes. While the Sierra Safari Zoo continues to breed baby animals for display, the facility has been callously selling off "surplus" animals through Animal Finders' Guide--a trade magazine that peddles exotic animals to breeders, dealers, and the pet trade. Animals who are sold through this process are likely to end up in shoddy roadside zoos, traveling animal exhibits, or other cruel establishments.
"Sierra Safari Zoo regularly makes desperate appeals to well-intentioned contributors for funds, even as it piles more and more animals onto what zoo officials say is a sinking ship," says PETA Director Debbie Leahy. "This zoo needs to take responsibility for the animals who are already housed in its facility. These animals deserve care and should not have to suffer because the zoo bites off more than it can chew." PETA's letter to Sierra Safari Zoo owner Dale McDaniel follows.
January 11, 2010
Dale McDanielSierra Safari ZooDear Mr. McDaniel:
We're writing in regard to the Sierra Safari Zoo's annual winter plea for funds and to suggest a method of operation that could significantly ease your financial woes as well as benefit the animals in your care: Stop breeding animals and do not otherwise acquire animals who you do not have resources to provide for.
The zoo is in fact creating its own trouble. To point out the obvious, by breeding more animals and taking in new ones, such as the recently acquired liger, the zoo has created a vicious cycle that will continue to leave you constantly begging for money to care for the animals and regularly issuing ominous threats about having to euthanize animals and/or close the facility. Although baby animals attract visitors to the zoo, breeding animals is not a sustainable practice because of space limitations. Cute babies very quickly grow into adults who need a lifetime of quality food, veterinary care, and larger, more enriched enclosures. Rather than taking up limited space by breeding and displaying new babies every year, the Sierra Safari Zoo should be dramatically improving the lives of the animals who are already at the zoo.
We also urge you to immediately cease selling animals through Animal Finder's Guide or any other venue that caters to breeders, dealers, and the pet trade. As you surely know, the private ownership of wild and dangerous animals has reached epidemic proportions in the U.S., with deadly and cruel consequences. Authorities around the country are seizing exotic animals from basements, backyard cages, apartments, and hellish roadside zoos, and there is precious little space available at true sanctuaries to put them. By breeding animals for profit, the Sierra Safari Zoo is directly contributing to the exotic-animal trade and to the misery of the animals who are victims of that trade.
Caring individuals donate to the Sierra Safari Zoo because they believe the zoo needs and will use their financial contribution to improve the lives of the animals at the zoo, and we urge you to revise your practices and act in accordance with your donors' expectations.
Thank you for your consideration.
Lisa WathneCaptive Exotic Animal Specialist
Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.