Caught: Pymatuning Deer Park Hit With Citations for Crippled, Injured Animals

Feds Take Action Following PETA Complaint Over Lack of Veterinary Care for Arthritic Bear, Suffering Lions

For Immediate Release:
August 12, 2015

David Perle 202-483-7382

Jamestown, Pa. – On the heels of a PETA complaint concerning the plight of a bear who appeared to suffer from arthritis so severe that she could barely walk, notorious roadside zoo Pymatuning Deer Park has been hit with a damning U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspection report. The recently released report reveals that a visibly suffering female bear who was experiencing extreme difficulty walking (video available here) had never been seen or treated by a veterinarian for the condition.

The park’s documented violations of the Animal Welfare Act also include confining a young lion for nearly two months among his own accumulating waste, rotting meat, and carcasses in a small holding pen that was so dark—even during the daytime—that inspectors could only make out the animal’s eyes when they tried to observe him. Other citations include depriving the lion of adequate veterinary care after he sustained injuries from an apparent attack by an adult lion at the facility, who was also confined to an enclosure that had not been adequately cleaned for nearly two months. And a male capybara had also apparently gone without treatment for a limp for so long that the inspector observed atrophy in the musculature of the animal’s leg.

“This facility denies animals basic veterinary care and condemns them to pens filled with their own waste, showing a total disregard for their health and safety,” says PETA Foundation Deputy Director Brittany Peet. “PETA is urging authorities to hold Pymatuning Deer Park fully responsible for the suffering of the animals it has deprived, abused, and neglected.”

The park was also hit with a citation for failing to employ sufficient staff, as over 200 animals were being cared for by just two employees. PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—encourages families to steer clear of roadside zoos.

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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