Illinois Traveling Zoo Under Fire for Big-Cat Cub Dealings

PETA Alerts Authorities to Woody's Menagerie's Interstate Receipt of 4-Week-Old Tiliger Cub, Apparent Operation During License Suspension

For Immediate Release:
June 15, 2017

Contact:
Sophia Charchuk 202-483-7382

Mulberry Grove, Ill. – PETA has sent a complaint to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) concerning Woody’s Menagerie, a traveling zoo based in Mulberry Grove, which apparently arranged for the interstate transfer of a 4-week-old tiliger cub—who was forcibly and prematurely separated from his or her mother—and received and exhibited animals without a license in apparent violation of the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA).

According to certificates of veterinary inspection issued to the notorious Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park (aka “G.W. Zoo”) in Oklahoma, Woody’s Menagerie arranged for the tiliger cub’s transfer from G.W. Zoo. USDA policy acknowledges that neonatal cubs (baby animals 4 weeks of age or younger) are not able to regulate their body temperatures and have an underdeveloped immune system, placing them at risk of disease and infection.

“Tearing big-cat cubs away from their mothers in order to ship them across the country to be used in exhibits puts these baby animals’ lives at risk,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet. “PETA is calling on federal authorities to crack down on Woody’s Menagerie and any other business that profits from young animals’ misery.”

Previously, on January 30, Woody’s Menagerie arranged for the transfer of a 4-month-old tiger from G.W. Zoo to an exhibition site in Texas, where Woody’s Menagerie reportedly exhibited animals from February 3 to 19. Woody’s Menagerie’s AWA license was suspended during that time—and it is illegal to engage in this activity without a license.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—has also asked the USDA to investigate facilities in Florida, Oregon, and Wisconsin that have received neonatal big-cat cubs from G.W. Zoo and to investigate G.W. Zoo for transferring these animals. PETA has also asked the USDA to investigate why G.W. Zoo’s veterinarian repeatedly signed off on these transfers and has asked the Oklahoma Veterinary Board to hold her professionally accountable.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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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