Pymatuning Deer Park Cited After Lion’s Muscle Wasting Worsens

PETA Complaint Precedes Citation for Failing to Seek Veterinary Care for Animal's Ataxia and Injuries

For Immediate Release:
November 21, 2017

David Perle 202-483-7382

Jamestown, Pa. – Just days after receiving a complaint from PETA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) cited notorious roadside zoo Pymatuning Deer Park for failing to supply adequate veterinary care to a juvenile male lion whose hind-end muscle wasting and ataxia (degenerative nerve disease) had worsened over the course of several months, to the point where he was limping around the enclosure.

According to the October 13 inspection report, which just became publicly available, the USDA confirmed PETA’s allegations that the lion appeared thin and had an untreated lesion on his right hip. Pymatuning representatives stated that an adult female lion had injured him several weeks prior to the inspection, yet staff had not contacted a veterinarian either to evaluate the injury or to reevaluate the muscle wasting and ataxia, which had not been assessed since April 2017.

“Pymatuning Deer Park’s rap sheet is filled with failures to provide animals with essential veterinary care,” says PETA Foundation Vice President and Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders. “PETA is calling on this ramshackle roadside zoo to send these long-neglected animals to reputable sanctuaries where they’d have appropriate habitats, round-the-clock veterinary care, and everything else that they’ve been denied for years.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—notes that the USDA issued an official warning to Pymatuning in March 2016 for its extensive violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act. In July 2015, the USDA cited the facility after an adult female lion injured a juvenile male lion. Other animals for whom the facility failed to arrange adequate veterinary care—resulting in additional citations—include a bear who was arthritic and struggled to walk on her front left leg, a capybara who was limping, and foxes with hair loss, among others.

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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