Oklahoma Roadside Zoo and Affiliates Under Fire for Big-Cat Cub Dealings

PETA Alerts Authorities to G.W. Zoo's Shipping of Too-Young Cubs Across the Country, Neon Jungle's Shopping Mall Photo Ops With Exotic Animals

For Immediate Release:
June 15, 2017

Contact:
Sophia Charchuk 202-483-7382

Oklahoma City – PETA has sent several complaints to state and federal authorities concerning businesses and individuals affiliated with the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park (aka “G.W. Zoo”), which breeds big-cat cubs, who are used for photo ops or transferred to other shady exhibitors throughout the country.

PETA has alerted the Oklahoma City manager that a new G.W. Zoo–affiliated venture, Neon Jungle, exhibits and sells “playtime” with a lemur and tiger, bear, and wolf (or wolf-dog hybrid) cubs in its storefront at Plaza Mayor at the Crossroads mall in Oklahoma City—in apparent violation of the city’s Exotic Wildlife Abatement Ordinance, which prohibits keeping exotic wildlife within the corporate city limits.

PETA is also calling on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to help the lemur, a highly social primate, who is apparently being denied the companionship of other lemurs, and to investigate G.W. Zoo’s documented transfers of neonatal big-cat cubs—baby animals 4 weeks of age or younger, who are forcibly and prematurely separated from their mothers—to exhibitors across the country in apparent violation of the federal Animal Welfare Act. USDA policy acknowledges that neonatal cubs are not able to regulate their body temperatures and have underdeveloped immune systems, placing them at risk of disease and infection.

“Tearing cubs away from their mothers to shove in a shopping mall or ship across the country is the bread and butter of G.W. Zoo and its affiliates,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet. “PETA is calling on federal and state officials to crack down on G.W. Zoo, Neon Jungle, and any other business that profits from animals’ misery.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—has also asked the USDA to investigate the facilities in Florida, Illinois, Oregon, and Wisconsin that have recently received neonatal big-cat cubs from G.W. Zoo. PETA has 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