Sick and Dying Animals, Harassment of Federal Inspectors, and More at ‘Wildlife in Need’

PETA Urges Families to Stay Away After Authorities Cite Tim Stark’s Roadside Zoo for Inadequate Veterinary Care, Dangerous Enclosures

For Immediate Release:
May 26, 2016

Sophia Charchuk 202-483-7382

Charlestown, Ind.

Tim Stark’s Charlestown roadside zoo, Wildlife in Need—a notoriously abusive facility that PETA has tracked for years, which offers “playtime” events in which baby wild animals who have been torn away from their mothers are passed around for selfies—has racked up even more citations for violating the federal Animal Welfare Act.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) January 20 inspection report, which just became publicly available, Stark failed to obtain veterinary care for a kangaroo and three otters, who later died, and he failed to notice that a bear was injured and bleeding. On a snowy 21-degree day, a lion and a dog had no bedding to keep them warm, three wolves were forced to share one small shelter, and another lion, a tiger, and two dogs were not adequately protected from the blowing wind, rain, and snow. Multiple animal enclosures were in dangerous disrepair, including two with sharp protrusions at the animals’ eye level.

The report also notes that Stark verbally attacked USDA inspectors and prevented them from completing a thorough investigation—which inspectors noted created a “hostile and unsafe environment” for future inspections.

“It’s no surprise that Tim Stark would harass the federal agents who have the power to stop him from abusing baby tigers,” says General Counsel to PETA Jeff Kerr. “PETA urges families to stay far away from this dangerous man and his deplorable roadside zoo, which should be shut down—and the animals should be moved to legitimate sanctuaries.”

Following a complaint from PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—the USDA cited Stark last fall for smacking tiger cubs in the face with a riding crop, dragging exhausted cubs around during “playtime,” and endangering the public. In January, a fire swept through Stark’s facility, killing at least 41 animals.

For more information, please visit

Stay up to date on the latest vegan trends and get breaking animal rights news delivered straight to your inbox!

By submitting this form, you’re acknowledging that you have read and agree to our privacy policy and agree to receive e-mails from us.

Get the Latest Tips—Right in Your Inbox
We’ll e-mail you weekly with the latest in vegan recipes, fashion, and more!

By submitting this form, you’re acknowledging that you have read and agree to our privacy policy and agree to receive e-mails from us.