The Mobile Zoo Racks Up Even More Animal-Welfare Violations

As PETA Prepares to Sue Roadside Zoo, Latest USDA Citations Include Facilities in Disrepair, Rotting Food for Animals

For Immediate Release:
December 8, 2015

Lakisha Ridley 202-483-7382

Mobile, Ala.

The Mobile Zoo—a notorious roadside zoo that PETA has tracked for years—has been slapped with yet another round of citations from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for violating the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA). According to the September 22 inspection report—which just became publicly available—animals’ shelters were in disrepair, with exposed sharp metal and rotting wood, among other issues, and fences around enclosures housing tigers and primates were deemed inadequate at protecting both the animals and the public.

In addition, the facility’s refrigeration system was reportedly broken. Spoiled food was leaking from a refrigerator, and the chest freezer containing meat for the animals was 63 degrees, emanating a foul odor, and leaking a fluid that attracted maggots. Perishable fruits and vegetables, including already moldy fruits, were left outside in the heat for hours—but the facility’s president was seen feeding the food to animals. Inspectors concluded that based on The Mobile Zoo’s continued violations, it does not have enough employees to care for the animals properly—and the understaffed facility will only fall deeper into disrepair.

“These latest citations for rotten food and dilapidated facilities are yet more entries on The Mobile Zoo’s mile-long rap sheet for animal neglect and public endangerment,” says PETA Foundation Deputy Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet. “PETA is calling for this hellhole to be shut down and the animals to be retired to reputable sanctuaries, for everyone’s safety.”

The USDA has filed a lawsuit against The Mobile Zoo for a long list of alleged AWA violations, including for failing to provide injured and ill animals with adequate veterinary care. PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—has submitted notice of its intent to sue the roadside zoo on behalf of Joe, a chimpanzee at the facility, alleging that keeping him in solitary confinement violates the Endangered Species Act.

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