Feds Cite Kirshner for Snow Leopard Stunt After PETA Tip

For Immediate Release:
February 15, 2022

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Oroville, Calif. – The Barry R. Kirshner Wildlife Foundation is in hot water with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) again—this time, for allowing employees at a local juvenile detention facility to hold and take photographs with a 5-month-old snow leopard. After PETA reported the incident to the USDA, the agency cited the roadside zoo, noting that the “potentially dangerous animal was too large and too mature to be safely handled by members of the public.”

This is the eighth USDA citation that Kirshner has received in just over a year. One citation stemmed from an incident in which an adult leopard jumped on a volunteer who had entered an enclosure with him, inflicting puncture wounds to her neck and torso that required hospitalization.

“This roadside zoo is racking up one violation after another, putting vulnerable animals and the public at risk each time, and PETA urges everyone to stay away,” says PETA Foundation Associate Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Debbie Metzler.

Kirshner’s other USDA citations in the last year include one for keeping a tiger in an enclosure with a dirty water container, fly-attracting old food, a layer of fur, and puddles on the dirt floor. California’s workplace safety agency also cited the roadside zoo after the leopard attack—but Kirshner has evidently continued to allow dangerous contact with big cats.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information about PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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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