Employee of Petting Zoo in Lumberton Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Charges

Jungle Safari's Track Record Includes Veterinary Care Failures, Public Endangerment; PETA Urges Families to Steer Clear

For Immediate Release:
May 11, 2016

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Lumberton, N.C. – An employee of notorious animal abuser Jungle Safari—which has dragged its traveling zoo to Lumberton—was arrested on April 30 on charges of sexually abusing two children under the age of 12 in Florence, Alabama.

Jungle Safari’s history of breaking the law isn’t limited to allegations of child molestation. It has a history of violating the federal Animal Welfare Act and, last year, was cited for having veterinary drugs that had expired in 2009. In 2011, there was an incident in which the traveling zoo placed an 11-week-old lion cub directly onto children’s laps. The U.S. Department of Agriculture inspector noted that this practice “could easily result in injury.”

“Jungle Safari also has a rap sheet for neglecting animals and endangering the public,” says PETA Foundation Deputy Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet. “PETA is urging families to stay away from this cruel, dangerous petting zoo and any other outfit that drags animals around to turn a buck.”

Animals used in traveling exhibitions are almost constantly confined to tiny transport cages or trailers, where they often suffer from extreme temperatures and are denied adequate food and water. Animals who have been denied everything that’s natural and important to them have been known to lash out and attack visitors in frustration. In addition, petting zoos are hotbeds of serious pathogens, including E. coli and salmonella bacteria, which can spread through direct or even indirect animal contact.

PETA’s motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment.”

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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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

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind