Injury, Disease, and Neglect Reported at Natural Bridge Zoo

Previously Suspended Operator Once Again Under Federal Investigation, Yet Eyewitnesses Still Find Stressed and Sickly Animals

For Immediate Release:
July 24, 2014

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Natural Bridge, Va. – As of this month, animals are still suffering at the notorious Natural Bridge Zoo, even though it’s currently under investigation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), so PETA has this morning filed a detailed complaint with the agency asking it to take action against this despicable roadside zoo. Visitors to the zoo report seeing a sickly looking baby camel frantically pacing, a goat who appeared to have an abscess on her face, a capuchin monkey who was missing nearly all the hair on his or her back, cages strewn with feces, and many other animals pacing incessantly in distress. The zoo has also apparently violated the law by allowing weeks-old tiger cubs to be handled by the public.

“Animals in this zoo look sick, stressed, and agitated,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders. “PETA’s motto says, in part, that ‘animals are not ours to use for entertainment,’ and this roadside zoo shows why. With such a long and despicable history of failing animals, authorities need to close it down or take some other decisive action.”

Since 2000, the USDA has cited zoo owner Karl Mogensen with 78 violations of federal animal-protection laws. In 2007, his license was suspended for a month and he was ordered to pay a $10,000 penalty. The USDA also reportedly fined Mogensen $2,475 in 2004, after two Asian black bears escaped through an unlocked gate. Both bears were apparently shot and killed while they were loose in the community. In 1994, the USDA fined Mogensen another $10,000 and suspended his license for a month.

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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