Animals Are Suffering at Roswell Roadside Zoo, Experts Report

PETA Releases Damning Video Footage, Renews Offer to Help Transfer Animals to Reputable Sanctuaries

For Immediate Release:
April 3, 2017

David Perle 202-483-7382

Roswell, N.M. – Armed with veterinary experts’ assessments (available here and here) that the archaic enclosures at the Spring River Park & Zoo are harmful to the animals there, PETA has sent a letter to Mayor Dennis Kintigh and Roswell’s city council urging them to retire the animals from the city-operated facility and send them to reputable sanctuaries with appropriate habitats right away.

PETA has also obtained video footage illustrating the experts’ opinions that the small, archaic concrete pits where bears and mountain lions are displayed can lead to serious maladies, including arthritis. The bears had hair loss, and a mountain lion had an abdominal lesion—both of which may have been caused and are at least exacerbated by living on concrete. The mountain lions were also obese and paced for much of the time—which causes stress to their paws and joints and indicates psychological distress—as did the bears.

Other animals were kept on concrete inside tiny, antiquated “corn crib” cages—round wire cages with roofs that completely block the sky—where a bobcat paced repeatedly, coatimundis suffered from hair loss on their tails, and lemurs were obese.

“It’s shameful for bears and mountain lions to be displayed today in archaic concrete cages and pits that are straight out of the 1930s,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet. “PETA is calling on the city of Roswell to retire these deprived and distressed animals to reputable sanctuaries, where the bears would be able to roam, dig, and den—and all would live more natural lives.”

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

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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