Local Roadside Zoo Identified as Site of Tiger Cub Confiscation; PETA Calls For Shutdown

For Immediate Release:
July 1, 2024

David Perle 202-483-7382

Oroville, Calif.

PETA has confirmed that the Barry R. Kirshner Wildlife Foundation was responsible for the malnourished tiger cub who made headlines this year after being transferred to the Oakland Zoo for treatment and then to the Performing Animal Welfare Society sanctuary in San Andreas. The cub, named Shyra, was confiscated from Kirshner by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) in February after she was found suffering from broken bones and muscle loss. PETA fired off a letter this morning calling on the state agency to terminate Kirshner’s permit that allows it to keep and exhibit animals and refer it for criminal prosecution under state cruelty-to-animals law, pointing out that the roadside zoo has already racked up 13 citations this year alone for violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act.

PETA initially tipped off the CDFW in July 2023 that Kirshner was violating the conditions of its permit by breeding tigers, but state authorities apparently never investigated the complaint and instead renewed its permit in November. According to public records, Shyra’s littermate died two days after birth. In February, federal inspectors from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) determined that Shyra had sustained several bone fractures and was having difficulty walking due to apparent metabolic bone disease, which is commonly caused by inadequate nutrition.

The USDA records reveal that other animals at Kirshner were also found to be suffering from inadequate care this year—including a mule deer whose hooves were so overgrown that they were affecting his stance and two big cats with open wounds that hadn’t been reported to the attending veterinarian.

Lion Lucie pants in the heat
A lion named Lucie at the Barry R. Kirshner Wildlife Foundation, who, as a cub, was unable to remain standing or walk, USDA inspectors found. Credit: PETA

“The Barry R. Kirshner Wildlife Foundation has made it clear it has no business being trusted with animals’ care, as the endangered big cats and other animals confined there develop preventable diseases and wounds left to fester,” says PETA Foundation General Counsel for Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet. “PETA is calling on the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to revoke the permit of this sleazy roadside zoo and have these animals transferred to reputable facilities where they can get the care they desperately need.”

Shyra isn’t the first cub at Kirshner to develop metabolic bone disease. In 2017, the roadside zoo was cited by federal authorities for failing to provide a lion cub named Lucie with adequate nutrition. According to inspection reports, Lucie was “able to stand only momentarily, with great reluctance, and she is not able to walk, but does crawl.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—points out that Every Animal Is Someone and offers free Empathy Kits for people who need a lesson in kindness. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on X, Facebook, or Instagram.

Stay up to date on the latest vegan trends and get breaking animal rights news delivered straight to your inbox!

By submitting this form, you’re acknowledging that you have read and agree to our privacy policy and agree to receive e-mails from us.

Get the Latest Tips—Right in Your Inbox
We’ll e-mail you weekly with the latest in vegan recipes, fashion, and more!

By submitting this form, you’re acknowledging that you have read and agree to our privacy policy and agree to receive e-mails from us.