For Immediate Release:
April 12, 2022
David Perle 202-483-7382
Troutman, N.C. – After Zootastic Park of Lake Norman allowed a lemur, a De Brazza’s monkey, and a capuchin monkey to suffer from frostbite—leading to amputations of parts of the two monkeys’ tails—the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) slapped the roadside zoo with a “critical citation” for failing to meet even the minimum care standards required by the federal Animal Welfare Act. According to a just-released inspection report obtained by PETA, none of the enclosures for these tropical animals had adequate shelter or heating when temperatures dropped as low as 19 degrees. This is not the first time the roadside zoo has run afoul of federal laws regarding animal care.
“Zootastic Park has failed to provide animals with even the most basic protection from the elements, causing them to suffer from frostbite in below-freezing weather,” says PETA Foundation Associate Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Michelle Sinnott. “PETA is calling on everyone to stay away from seedy roadside zoos like this one, which needs to send these neglected animals to reputable facilities where they can get the care they need.”
Other citations in the new inspection report stem from staff members’ medication of animals without veterinary oversight, failures to maintain records of acquisition and disposition of more than a dozen animals, allowing members of the public to have unsupervised contact with animals, and exposing a young howler monkey to a live electrical cord, which could have caused injury or death.
Last year, the USDA cited Zootastic for failing to provide animals with adequate veterinary care—noting that the tails of two squirrels at the facility had been amputated because of apparent “self-trauma”—and for failing to notice that several animals suffered from lameness, among other issues.
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 newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.