Feds Find Ailing Animals, Maggot-Filled Food at Local Roadside Zoo After PETA Tip

For Immediate Release:
December 7, 2023

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Weyauwega, Wis. – Animal Haven Zoo, a ramshackle roadside “attraction,” has been cited by federal authorities for a staggering 17th time this year for violating the federal Animal Welfare Act after a tip from PETA about ailing animals and facilities in disrepair led U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) investigators to discover numerous animals deprived of adequate veterinary care, broken enclosures, and a bear given food crawling with maggots.

According to the just-released USDA report, investigators found a pigeon with a significant eye injury, an alpaca with runny nasal discharge, a sheep with overgrown hooves, and multiple chickens with severe feather loss and a “white, thickened, crusty material on their feet and legs,” indicating an untreated illness. Other federal violations included failing to drain standing water, causing a green, algae-like substance to build up around a tiger’s drinking water; failing to prevent the presence of rat droppings found in a primate enclosure; and failing to repair multiple animals’ dilapidated enclosures, some of which had sharp, exposed wires that caused an injury hazard for the animals.

“Animal Haven Zoo has had years to clean up its act, but these repeated failures show that it’s either incapable or unwilling to provide animals with even the absolute bare minimum care they require,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Welfare Debbie Metzler. “PETA is calling on this rundown roadside zoo to transfer the animals to reputable facilities, where they can get the care they desperately need.”

A black bear paces in a small enclosure full of feces and old food at Animal Haven Zoo in August. Credit: PETA

In the past year alone, the USDA has cited Animal Haven Zoo for a litany of welfare violations involving injured or ill animals, broken shelters, a buildup of excrement in an enclosure, and rodents found in a primate enclosure and a food storage area.

In 2022, Animal Haven Zoo was hit with a $6,450 fine for a streak of violations that included failing to give a liger water for roughly 20 hours, failing to provide adequate veterinary care for a thin lamb who had signs of diarrhea and who walked in a weak and hunched manner, and letting an employee take a 3-week-old tiger cub to a local school, putting the newborn animal at risk for disease, infection, and stress.

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