PETA Statement on Wilson’s Wild Animal Park Indictment

For Immediate Release:
November 13, 2019

David Perle 202-483-7382

Winchester, Va. – Please see the following statement from PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet in response to a county grand jury’s indictment today of Keith Wilson, who is now charged with 46 counts of cruelty to animals over the treatment of animals at Wilson’s Wild Animal Park in Winchester:

After years of raising alarm bells over the neglected bears, tigers, primates, lynxes, and other animals at Wilson’s Wild Animal Park, PETA looks forward to seeing the final nail driven into this roadside zoo’s coffin. These charges must act as a wake-up call to the USDA, which issued Wilson’s a clean inspection report just a week before state officials seized more than 100 animals after finding them in squalid and inadequate enclosures, many without food or water.

On August 15, the Virginia Attorney General’s Office seized 119 animals from Wilson’s Wild Animal Park. Permanent custody of the animals—who were transferred to other facilities—was granted to the state in a hearing following the seizure. Wilson’s nephew, Christian Alejandro Dall’Acqua, has also been charged with 45 counts of cruelty to animals.

PETA’s motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment,” and the group opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit

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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