6-Year-Old Alligator ‘Wrangler’ Prompts Complaints

Animals, Employees, and Children at Risk at Roadside Zoo, Says PETA

For Immediate Release:
August 26, 2014

David Perle 202-483-7382

Hammond, La. – A visitor to the Hammond-based Harvey Kliebert’s Turtle & Alligator Farm & Tours has provided a chilling report detailing animals in need of water, shelter, and veterinary care as well as safety failures that put people—including children—at risk, prompting PETA to file complaints with federal, state, and local authorities asking for investigations into what goes on at the decrepit roadside zoo.

An upset visitor reports that the zoo manager’s son, who goes by the name “T-Mike,” reportedly allows his own 6-year-old son to “wrangle” alligators and crocodiles and told visitors that the boy has already been bitten by both.

“Treating wild animals as if they’re unfeeling, dime-store novelties is both dangerous and cruel,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders. “Kliebert’s sounds unsafe for anyone who steps foot on the property—whether they have two legs or four.”

PETA is also asking the Occupational Health and Safety Administration to investigate reports of the various risks that the zoo employees are exposed to, including dealing with frequent animal escapes because of inadequate and broken fencing around enclosures containing dangerous animals. Employees are apparently in direct contact with crocodiles and alligators regularly.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“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