PETA Calls On Feds to Deny Gulf Coast Zoo an Endangered Species Act Permit

History of Premature Animal Deaths Makes Zoo Unqualified, Says Group

For Immediate Release:
February 26, 2014

David Perle 202-483-7382

Gulf Shores, Ala. – PETA has filed formal comments with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) strongly opposing the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo’s application for a permit to breed endangered animals. PETA points out that the Endangered Species Act (ESA) requires licensees to enhance the propagation or survival of the species—and the zoo has failed to give any indication as to how displaying captive animals will do this.

According to the zoo’s own records, there have been a shocking number of premature deaths of the species the zoo wants to breed as well as of similar species at the facility. At least 39 such animals have died in the last five years alone. The zoo made false and misleading statements about this high mortality rate in its permit application, claiming that the deaths were of older animals, often of “extreme age,” even though the vast majority died far short of their natural life expectancies. Among the many other deaths, one endangered lemur died at just 6 months of age, and another died at 1 year old.

“The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo cannot be allowed to breed more animals when it clearly can’t or won’t properly care for the animals it already holds captive,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders. “PETA is calling on the government to stick to the purpose of the Endangered Species Act—and that’s protecting wild animals, not breeding and warehousing them in cruel roadside zoos.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has also repeatedly cited the facility for multiple violations of federal animal-protection laws, and PETA has also asked the agency to investigate the disturbing number of premature deaths.

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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