Caught: Tri-State Zoological Park Cited for Thin, Ailing Lion

PETA Complaint Prompts Federal Action Against Notorious Roadside Zoo

For Immediate Release:
November 8, 2016

David Perle 202-483-7382

Cumberland, Md.

As a result of a recent PETA complaint, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspected Tri-State Zoological Park in Cumberland and slapped the facility with a direct citation for violating the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) regarding a thin, ailing lion. While the roadside zoo and its veterinarian were aware of the animal’s condition, the USDA cited the facility on October 6 for not seeking a diagnosis from a veterinarian with exotic-cat experience, as leaving the lion undiagnosed can prolong his suffering and doesn’t allow for an adequate course of treatment for his condition.

According to the October 6 inspection report, which just became publicly available, the apparently emaciated 13-year-old lion had prominent pelvic bones. His coat was rough, and his mane had thinned—as would be seen on a 1-year-old lion. He also had a watery discharge around his eyes.

“Tri-State Zoological Park has repeatedly failed to meet even minimum standards for the care of animals as established by law,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet. “This squalid facility is a hellhole for the animals imprisoned there, and that’s why PETA is calling on caring people to steer clear of it.”

The USDA has previously cited Tri-State Zoological Park repeatedly for failing to provide animals with adequate veterinary care, clean and secure enclosures, environmental enrichment, and adequate shelter from the wind and cold temperatures as well as for allowing the buildup of excessive amounts of animal waste in multiple enclosures. Just last year, the facility received an official warning for several repeat violations of confining animals to crumbling and filthy enclosures. In March 2013, the USDA suspended the facility’s AWA license for 45 days and ordered it to cease and desist from violating the AWA.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—urges people everywhere to avoid facilities that imprison animals for human pleasure and convenience.

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