Ali MacGraw’s Plea: Send Animals at Roadside Zoo to Reputable Sanctuaries

Hollywood Icon Calls On Roswell Officials to Spring Ailing Animals From Barren Pits at Spring River Park & Zoo

For Immediate Release:
August 16, 2017

Contact:
Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Roswell, N.M. – Two mountain lions documented as being overweight and two bears documented with hair loss are just some of the animals suffering at the rundown Spring River Park & Zoo, which is operated by the city of Roswell, and Academy Award nominee Ali MacGraw has run out of patience. In a letter sent today, the New Mexico resident and longtime PETA supporter urges city officials to act now and move the animals to reputable sanctuaries.

“These intelligent animals are far-ranging and need vast spaces in which to roam, climb, and engage in other species-specific behavior,” MacGraw writes. “Won’t you please retire them to an appropriate facility… where they could live in a far more natural environment? It would mean the world to me and—more importantly—to these animals, who deserve better.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—has repeatedly offered to help Spring River relocate animals to reputable sanctuaries at no cost to the city.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

Ali MacGraw’s letter to Jim Burress, superintendent of Roswell’s Parks & Recreation Department, follows.

Dear Mr. Burress,

As a New Mexico resident, I was saddened to learn from my friends at PETA that the city of Roswell is confining bears and mountain lions to cramped concrete pits at the Spring River Park & Zoo. I urge you to release the bears Sierra and Ursula into reputable, naturalistic sanctuaries where they can live with rich environmental stimulation, and I hope you’ll consider doing the same for the mountain lions—rather than simply upgrading their enclosure at some point in the future, as you have claimed to be working on. These intelligent animals are far-ranging and need vast spaces in which to roam, climb, and engage in other species-specific behavior.

In the last few years, several small zoos have chosen to release bears from concrete pits into such sanctuaries, and I’d be thrilled to be able to congratulate the city of Roswell on making the same compassionate decision. Won’t you please retire them to an appropriate facility like The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Colorado, where they could live in a far more natural environment? It would mean the world to me and—more importantly—to these animals, who deserve better. Thank you for your attention to this important matter.

Sincerely,

Ali MacGraw

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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

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