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.