Notorious Miami Wildlife Exhibitor Racks Up More Animal Welfare Violations

Former Drug Kingpin's Business Cited for Inadequate Veterinary Care, Placing Social Monkeys in Solitary Confinement, and More

For Immediate Release:
March 16, 2016

David Perle 202-483-7382

Miami – Zoological Wildlife Foundation (ZWF)—a Miami business that PETA has tracked for years, which breeds, buys, and sells exotic animals and uses them for photo ops—has been slapped with seven citations for violating the federal Animal Welfare Act.

According to a recent inspection report, which just became publicly available, ZWF caged two incompatible primates together: A male bonnet macaque chased, bit, and grabbed a female as she tried to escape him, leaving her with bleeding wounds. Three highly social primates were housed in isolated, nearly barren enclosures—which can have devastating psychological effects—and a wolf was locked outdoors with no shelter from the elements, among other violations.

“It’s apparently dirty business as usual at the Zoological Wildlife Foundation, which either can’t or won’t provide animals with basic necessities such as safe housing and adequate veterinary care,” says PETA Foundation Deputy Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet. “PETA is calling on anyone who cares about animals to give this scofflaw wildlife exhibitor a wide berth.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—notes that ZWF owner Mario Tabraue has admitted to making false claims to federal authorities about his animal dealings, such as where he obtained the animals in his possession. This recent inspection report includes citations for numerous missing and incomplete records, some of which included notes such as “transferred?” Tabraue’s long criminal history as a former drug kingpin includes convictions for racketeering, narcotics violations, and dismembering and burning the remains of a former federal informant—his exotic-animal business served as a front for his drug-smuggling enterprise.

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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