Feds Cite G.W. Zoo Following PETA Complaint Over Employee Mauling

OSHA Confirms That Workers at Notorious Facility Have Potentially Deadly Contact With Dangerous Animals

For Immediate Release:
April 15, 2014

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Wynnewood, Okla. – Following an October 2013 PETA complaint, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited Joe Schreibvogel’s notorious Garold Wayne Interactive Zoological Foundation (G.W.)—also known as “G.W. Exotic” and “G.W. Zoo”—for multiple violations of federal laws protecting workers. PETA’s complaint came after an employee at G.W. was severely injured, losing part of her arm, and almost bled to death as a result of a tiger attack at the facility—and OSHA has cited G.W. for failing to place protective barriers between humans and dangerous big cats and bears, among other citations.

“PETA has known for years that G.W. is a hellhole for the animals locked up there, and now OSHA has confirmed that the lives of workers there are routinely placed at risk,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders. “For everyone’s sake, families need to stay far away from this despicable facility until it is shut down for good.”

G.W. has also been cited for failing to warn employees about the risks of working with hazardous chemicals, failing to train employees in the use of these chemicals, and not keeping injury and illness records. G.W. has a history of dangerous incidents involving big cats—including a tiger cub who jumped on and knocked down a small child and a cougar who gnawed on Schreibvogel’s own hand during feeding—and whistleblowers have indicated that Schreibvogel routinely covers up injuries to staff and the public.

Schreibvogel is also the subject of at least four U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) investigations and has previously had his exhibitor’s license suspended for 18 months and paid a $25,000 fine to settle multiple charges of violating the Animal Welfare Act. PETA recently called on the USDA to investigate a series of suspicious, unexplained animal deaths at the facility, including those of two chimpanzees and three exotic birds.

For more information and to see PETA’s complaints as well as the OSHA documents, please visit PETA’s blog.

For Media: Contact PETA's
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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