The death toll at The Garold Wayne Interactive Zoological Park (“G.W. Zoo”) seems to be growing: Earlier this month, the G.W. Zoo posted disturbing photos on its Facebook page of two blue-and-yellow macaws and a Goffin’s cockatoo lying dead at the bottom of filthy cages. The photos show the birds surrounded by disintegrating newspapers and excrement, with no trace of food or water visible. The cockatoo had apparently plucked the feathers from his chest—something that birds do when sick or distressed. Based on the photos, it’s likely that the birds suffered from neglect, trauma, stress, starvation, and dehydration before they died.
The photos and their captions suggest that at the time of their deaths, the birds were exhibited by Schreibvogel, who would have had a clear duty to ensure that they received adequate food, water, and veterinary care and that they did not suffer. PETA is calling on the local sheriff’s office and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to investigate these apparent violations of Oklahoma and federal law and to hold all responsible parties accountable to the fullest extent of the law. We’ll keep you updated as the case unfolds.
Originally posted March 18, 2014:
Once again, notorious animal exhibitor Joe Schreibvogel appears to have run afoul of the law. This time, a female chimpanzee named Bongo died under suspicious circumstances at The Garold Wayne Interactive Zoological Park (“G.W. Zoo”), which Schreibvogel operates.
Schreibvogel documented his discovery of Bongo’s body and his actions thereafter in a bizarre video he posted on YouTube entitled, “The Death of a Friend.” While the video includes several scenes of Schreibvogel yelling at and insulting his staff and firing a warning gunshot to scare off Bongo’s male cage mate, it does not show whether or not anyone ever called a veterinarian for Bongo either before or after she died.
The video does not suggest that Schreibvogel did anything for Bongo besides making a rudimentary, unskilled attempt at CPR (which was almost certainly pointless, since Bongo was likely long past reviving at that point) and then promptly burying her.
The fact that Schreibvogel fired a gun to scare off the male chimpanzee suggests that the two primates may have been incompatible (which would be a violation of federal law) and that the male may have had something to do with Bongo’s death. If the animals had indeed been fighting, it would be nothing new for Schreibvogel. During a PETA undercover investigation at G.W. Zoo in 2006, we documented many fights between incompatible animals, often resulting in serious injuries. Animals were routinely hit, kicked, sprayed with cold water, struck with rakes and shovels, and blasted with fire extinguishers to break up frequent fights. In one gruesome attack, a lion’s front leg was torn off and eaten by two tigers.
PETA has filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) asking it to investigate the cause of Bongo’s death and Schreibvogel’s subsequent actions.
What You Can Do
Please join PETA in contacting the USDA, and ask that the agency not renew G.W.’s federal license.