23 Tiger Cubs Dead in Seven Months

Published by Alisa Mullins.

The name may have changed, but The Garold Wayne Interactive Zoological Park, formerly known as G.W. Exotic Animal Park, is still up to the same old tricks—it’s continuing to abuse animals. And PETA is fighting to shut this hellhole down.

We’ve called on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to refuse to renew the Oklahoma menagerie’s Animal Welfare Act license, citing the facility’s long history of animal-care violations, including the recent deaths of two tiger cubs born at the facility as well as the deaths of nearly two dozen other tiger cubs in a seven-month period. Joe Schreibvogel, who holds the license authorizing G.W. to exhibit animals, has also incurred enormous debts, totaling between $1 million and $10 million, which inhibit his ability to care properly for the more than 100 big cats and other animals at the facility.

PETA conducted an undercover investigation at the roadside zoo back in 2006 and documented horrific neglect and abuse, including dead, dying, and injured animals; extremely crowded conditions; a serious lack of basic necessities, such as food, water, and veterinary care; inadequate cages; and untrained and insufficient staff, who were intentionally cruel to numerous animals. We documented the following abuses, among others:

  • Animals were routinely hit, kicked, sprayed with cold water, struck with rakes and shovels, and blasted with fire extinguishers to break up frequent fights.
  • Incompatible animals were not separated, and many were seriously injured from fighting with one another.
  • In one gruesome attack, a lion named Julie’s front leg was torn off and eaten by two tigers. She ripped out the stitches in her stump and was given nothing for the pain.
  • Two healthy adult tigers were killed, and their teeth were reportedly cut out to be given away as gifts.
  • Animals frequently escaped because of inadequate cages and careless personnel.
  • Two badly injured horses in excruciating pain, including one formerly used for racing who had a broken leg, were dumped at the zoo, and staff let them suffer for days before they were butchered.
  • Lit cigarettes and cigars were given to primates.
  • Lion and tiger cubs born at the facility were typically removed from their mothers immediately after birth and then were often declawed—a practice that the USDA has now banned—and taken on the road.
  • Employees were instructed to falsify paperwork required by the USDA regarding animal feeding schedules as well as environmental enrichment for primates.
  • The “contingency plan” for escaped animals during storms was to shoot to kill.

PETA’s investigator witnessed this litany of horrors just one month after Schreibvogel’s license was suspended for 18 months and he was fined $25,000 as a result of more than 197 Animal Welfare Act violations.

What You Can Do

Please join PETA in contacting the USDA, and ask that the agency not renew G.W.’s federal license.

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“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

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind