Caught: Tri-State Zoological Park Nets Official Warning for Poor Animal Care

New PETA Complaint Finds Isolated Primates, Obese Bear, Filthy Enclosures

For Immediate Release:
June 23, 2015

David Perle 202-483-7382

Cumberland, Md. – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has hit notorious roadside zoo Tri-State Zoological Park with an official warning for violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) found during two inspections—one of which was prompted by a PETA complaint. And an even more recent newly released USDA inspection report revealed more of the same at Tri-State, including animals housed in a damaged, dilapidated enclosure that left them at risk of injury from sharp wires, while a coatimundi was confined to an enclosure with old, dried feces on a carpeted resting platform. Tri-State’s apparent violations don’t stop there: Thanks to a damning eyewitness report, PETA is submitting a fresh complaint to the USDA documenting additional apparent violations, including highly social primates—a squirrel monkey and a capuchin monkey—housed in isolation, an obese Asian black bear, and a kinkajou confined to a filthy, feces-strewn enclosure in which even the animal’s food bowl was covered with excrement.

“Squalid enclosures, social animals kept in isolation, and chronically poor standards of care have been documented at Tri-State again and again,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders. “PETA is calling on the USDA to break the cycle of neglect and abuse by holding this facility responsible for its inability to meet even the minimum needs of the animals in its care.”

The USDA has previously cited Tri-State Zoo 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. 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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 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