Feds Throw the Book at Dade City’s Wild Things in Latest Inspection Report

PETA Obtains Records Revealing Failure to Provide a Tiger With Severe Hair Loss, an Emaciated Bison, and Others With Veterinary Care

For Immediate Release:
October 3, 2017

David Perle 202-483-7382

Dade City, Fla. – PETA has obtained the most recently published U.S. Department of Agriculture inspection report for Dade City’s Wild Things (DCWT)—whose cruel “swim with tigers” encounters were the subject of a PETA exposé last year—and it reveals a litany of new federal Animal Welfare Act violations.

According to the May 23 report, the notorious roadside zoo—which was last cited in February for shipping 3-week-old cubs to an exhibitor in Oregon and for violations regarding a child who was bitten by a monkey during a so-called “encounter”—was cited for failing to provide several animals, including an emaciated bison whose ribs were showing, a tiger with severe hair loss on his or her neck and shoulders, and a lion with a bloody ear lesion, with veterinary care. The facility was also cited for failing to provide two aquatic small-clawed otters with a swimming pool, instead providing them with only a shallow bucket of water in which they could not submerge themselves, and for keeping two highly social primates in solitary confinement.

“Dade City’s Wild Things has demonstrated time and again that it either can’t or won’t meet the needs of the animals in its custody,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet. “From the tigers at the center of PETA’s lawsuit to the otters spotted desperately trying to submerge themselves in a small bucket, it’s clear that this facility is a cesspool of suffering.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—notes that DCWT is the target of a PETA lawsuit filed last year alleging that the roadside zoo’s practices of prematurely separating infant tigers from their mothers, forcing them to interact with members of the public, and confining them to nearly barren concrete pens violate federal law.

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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