Sheriff Called In to Investigate Animal Neglect Reported at West Coast Game Park Safari

Footage Shows Apparently Injured and Suffering Animals, Including a Bear Forced to Stand on Hind Legs With Choking Leash

For Immediate Release:
September 29, 2016

David Perle 202-483-7382

Brandon, Ore.

PETA has filed a formal complaint with Coos County Sheriff Craig Zanni asking him to investigate reports of serious animal neglect—including apparently lame animals—at West Coast Game Park Safari, a roadside zoo in Brandon. On September 21, PETA shared these allegations with one of the county’s animal-control officers, who waited six days to respond and then said she was too busy. The officer also reportedly tipped off the owner of the roadside zoo to PETA’s complaint, giving him advance notice of an inspection.

A concerned visitor has provided PETA with video and photographs of animals—including a capybara, a leopard, a cougar, and an elk—who are being held at West Coast Game Park Safari and who all appear to be injured or lame. The visitor also photographed a bear cub who was reportedly forced to stand on his or her hind legs for photo opportunities or else be choked by a leash for trying to stand normally on all four feet. The visitor also reported seeing a fox frantically running in circles and a snow leopard pacing back and forth—both well-recognized signs of extreme stress and deprivation.

“Animal neglect seems to be the rule, not the exception, at West Coast Game Park Safari—and anyone who cares about animals should stay away,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet. “PETA is calling on local authorities to do the right thing for these suffering animals by immediately investigating these potential crimes and holding this hellhole accountable.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—notes that this is not the first time that animal neglect has been documented at West Coast Game Park Safari: Inspectors from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) cited the facility in 2015 after PETA filed a complaint about a leopard who was suffering from a raw, untreated wound on his tail. Inspectors later documented that additional animals were suffering without adequate veterinary care, including a solitary peccary with an inflamed eye and overgrown hooves. As the USDA noted in its report, the roadside zoo has a “pattern of personnel not performing adequate daily assessment of animal health.”

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