The Mobile Zoo’s License Is Pulled After Decades of Animal Neglect

After Numerous PETA Complaints, USDA Prohibit Notorious Roadside Zoo From Displaying Animals Ever Again

For Immediate Release:
November 17, 2016

David Perle 202-483-7382

Wilmber, Ala. – Following years of complaints from PETA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has revoked the exhibitor license of The Mobile Zoo in Wilmer. As a result, neither the facility nor its operator can ever again legally exhibit warm-blooded animals—the only ones covered under the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA). PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—is calling on the decrepit roadside zoo to retire the long-suffering animals it holds captive to accredited sanctuaries.

Many of the violations that were the basis of the USDA’s decision came from PETA complaints, including some of those related to Joe the chimpanzee. The group sued The Mobile Zoo earlier this year over its treatment of him, alleging that he suffered in solitary confinement for nearly two decades in violation of the Endangered Species Act. The roadside zoo finally surrendered him, and he is now thriving at the Save the Chimps sanctuary, where he has made many new chimpanzee friends—and his hair has grown back after years of pulling it out from stress in captivity.

“The Mobile Zoo’s decades-long record of appalling animal neglect, filth, rotten food, and oblivious leadership has caught up with it,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet. “PETA is calling on this hellhole to retire the animals to reputable sanctuaries, where they could finally get the care that they need after years of suffering.”

The license revocation is the result of a lawsuit filed by the USDA against the roadside zoo for a long list of violations of the AWA. In the most recent publicly available USDA inspection report, dated September 21, the USDA cited the facility for decaying food and feces buildup in animal enclosures, among other violations.

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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