Photos: Suffering Primates Prompt Feds to Take Action Against Monroe Zoo

PETA Complaint Leads to USDA Inspection Revealing One Gibbon Kept in Isolation, Two Others Locked Outside in the Cold and Rain

For Immediate Release:
February 5, 2015

David Perle 202-483-7382

Monroe, La. – Following a PETA complaint, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspected the Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo (aka the “Monroe Zoo”) and cited the facility for two violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA). According to the January 13 report, which just became available to the public, the USDA cited the Monroe Zoo for keeping a highly social gibbon locked in isolation (photo available here) as well as for leaving two other gibbons outdoors with no access to inside quarters on a rainy, 45-degree January day. The USDA inspector observed the primates huddled together in an apparent effort to seek warmth.

“It takes a total disrespect for animals and the laws designed to protect them to sentence a highly social primate to solitary confinement,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders. “PETA’s motto reads, in part, that ‘animals are not ours to use for entertainment,’ and anyone who cares about animals should stay far away from this shameful roadside zoo.”

The facility, which is owned by the city of Monroe, has been repeatedly cited by the USDA for violating the AWA, including, among many other issues, for having rusty, rotting, and structurally unsound cages and for confining a black bear named Boudreaux to a tiny, dark indoor cage, without access to the outdoors, where he was held for nearly four years. Among other complaints, visitors to the Monroe Zoo have reported seeing animals left with no access to food, food that was contaminated with flies and animal waste, and even a dead quail left inside a display.

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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