Feds Cite Roadside Zoo’s Jeff Lowe for Multiple Vet Care Failures

PETA Complaint Confirmed: Flies Eating Big Cats' Ears Away, Animals Struggle to Stand and Suffer From Untreated Ailments

For Immediate Release:
July 21, 2020

David Perle 202-483-7382

Wynnewood, Okla. – Today, PETA obtained a June 22 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) report revealing that the agency has cited Jeff Lowe, the operator of the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park (aka “G.W. Zoo”), for numerous failures to provide animals with adequate veterinary care, among other animal welfare issues.

The USDA had to stop the inspection to instruct the G.W. Zoo to obtain immediate veterinary care for a lion cub named Nala, who was “lethargic, depressed, and thin and would not get up” and had thick nasal and ocular discharge. And a 17-year-old big cat named Young Yi had died, allegedly of renal failure, without ever seeing a veterinarian to diagnose and treat him.

The government also cited Lowe for leaving the dead bodies of Young Yi and a tiger named Dot outside under a tarp, causing a foul odor and attracting swarms of flies. The USDA noted that “flystrike”—a condition in which flies bite other animals and lay eggs on them and the hatched maggots eat away at their skin—has affected numerous tigers, lions, and wolves at this roadside zoo, a problem that PETA alerted the agency to last month with photos and video.

“It’s bad business as usual at the G.W. Zoo, where Jeff Lowe has let lions, tigers, and bears suffer and even die without needed veterinary care,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel for Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet. “We urge any visitor, worker, or volunteer who spots neglect at this ramshackle roadside zoo to report it to PETA.org/Abuse immediately.”

The USDA also cited Lowe for failing to provide animals with adequate veterinary care, including two wolves (one had difficulty standing and the other had pressure sores on both rear hocks), a limping fisher cat, an emaciated grizzly bear named Gizzy, and an underweight black bear. In addition, numerous enclosures were found to be in disrepair.

Lowe is a defendant in a current PETA Endangered Species Act lawsuit challenging cruel big-cat cub petting by his former business partner, Tim Stark, who sent him Gizzy as well as several lions.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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Media Response Team.


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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