Feds Say Animals at Waccatee Zoo Are Suffering

PETA Complaint Shows Monkeys Going Insane From Neglect, Prompts Authorities to Cite Roadside Zoo for Lack of Veterinary Care, Enrichment

For Immediate Release:
May 3, 2018

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Myrtle Beach, S.C. After PETA alerted the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to eyewitness video footage showing primates at the Waccatee Zoo pacing, swaying, and exhibiting self-injurious types of behavior, agency inspectors went to the facility on March 28 and confirmed PETA’s allegations.

The USDA report, which just became publicly available, notes that Waccatee had been told to provide bears and primates with enclosures that would allow them to forage and engage in other natural types of behavior but that these changes still hadn’t been made and animals continued to show signs of psychological distress. During the inspection, two bears were observed repeatedly pacing, a male baboon walked repeatedly in figure eights, a female baboon swayed back and forth, and another male baboon repeatedly rocked back and forth, tossed his head, stood up, circled in place, and then resumed rocking. The report also noted that a macaque, who had an untreated wound on his tail, has “floating limb syndrome”: His left leg floats up and he sees it and attacks it. He has a history of what the report calls “frenzied self-attacking behaviors.” Such abnormal behavior patterns generally result from neglect and require management with special enrichment and attention, which Waccatee is failing to provide.

“Bears and primates are highly intelligent animals who need a real life—meaning stimulation and proper care—and without it, they slowly go insane,” says PETA Foundation Vice President and Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders. “The psychological suffering on display at the Waccatee Zoo is exactly why PETA urges everyone to stay away from this and all other shoddy roadside zoos.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—has been reporting the abnormal behavior patterns of primates at the Waccatee Zoo since 2016. The facility’s previous violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act include failure to provide animals who had wounds, overgrown hooves, and other health problems with adequate veterinary care as well as failure to provide animals who had clean and safe enclosures.

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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