Field Trips to Roadside Zoo Rate an ‘F’

Published by Jennifer O'Connor.

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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“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