Pymatuning Deer Park Racks Up More Animal-Welfare Violations

PETA Complaint Precedes Citations for Distressed Bear Cubs, Shooting of Tiger, Filthy Enclosures, and More

For Immediate Release:
October 1, 2015

David Perle 202-483-7382

Jamestown, Pa. – On the heels of a PETA complaint and barely a month after racking up a slew of Animal Welfare Act (AWA) violations, notorious roadside zoo Pymatuning Deer Park has been cited for a dozen additional AWA violations. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) August 27 inspection report, which just became publicly available, two bear cubs were observed abnormally sucking on their paws and each other’s ears, an indication of prolonged psychological distress. Two adult bears are still confined to a concrete pit—this can lead to crippling arthritis, which one of the bears shows symptoms of (video available here)—and the enclosure’s den hasn’t been cleaned since the spring.

“Inspection after inspection has revealed animals on display suffering at Pymatuning Deer Park, where bears in barren concrete pits are deprived of everything that’s natural and important to them,” says PETA Foundation Deputy Director Brittany Peet. “PETA is calling on this despicable facility to stop this neglect and surrender these bears to a reputable sanctuary where they’d be able to roam, dig, and simply be bears on acres of lush terrain.”

Other violations in the latest report include killing a tiger by gunshot, which the USDA deems an inappropriate method of euthanasia. The tiger was shot in full view of a juvenile lion, a stressful and traumatizing event. The facility also risked exposing a baboon to rat poison, allowed waste to build up for months in the zebra enclosure, and failed to maintain enclosures that had rusted and deteriorated, placing the animals at risk of injury.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—encourages families to steer clear of roadside zoos.

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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