Feds Confirm: Animals Suffering, Visitors Endangered at Lazy 5 Ranch

Roadside Zoo Racks Up More Animal Welfare Violations Following PETA Complaint

For Immediate Release:
April 29, 2014

David Perle 202-483-7382

Mooresville, N.C. – Just weeks after PETA alerted the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to a visitor’s report that giraffes at Lazy 5 Ranch were suffering from painfully overgrown hooves, among other instances of neglect, the USDA cited the facility for failing to trim a giraffe’s hooves—a chronic issue for Lazy 5 owner Henry Hampton, who previously left at least two giraffes to suffer from this distressing condition for more than a year.

The April 1 report, which just became publicly available, also cites Lazy 5 for allowing unsupervised contact between animals and the public—including a visitor who placed a small child on the roof of his car so that the child could feed a giraffe. In April 2012, a camel bit a child at Lazy 5—there was no barrier and no attendant present to prevent contact.

“The authorities have again confirmed what visitors keep telling PETA: that animals are suffering and the public is in danger at Lazy 5 Ranch,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders. “People who care about animals—and about their children’s safety—should never buy a ticket to this careless and despicable roadside zoo.”

Other new citations include keeping ring-tailed lemurs in a virtually barren barn and failing to maintain records for more than a dozen animals, including two who were missing.

Hampton, the owner of both Lazy 5 Ranch and a roadside zoo in Ohio, has been under investigation by the USDA for more than three and a half years. His dozens of past violations of federal animal-protection laws include allowing a giraffe to die after getting her head stuck in an improperly closed gate and allowing a baboon to suffer from a swollen and oozing eye for at least 17 months.

To see the USDA inspection report and for more information, please visit PETA’s blog.

For Media: Contact PETA's
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