Tri-State Zoological Park Sued Over Inadequate Care

PETA Seeks to Transfer Lemurs, Tigers, and Lion Displayed From Decrepit Enclosures at Roadside Zoo

For Immediate Release:
July 31, 2017

David Perle 202-483-7382

Cumberland, Md. – Today, PETA filed a federal Endangered Species Act citizens lawsuit against Tri-State Zoological Park alleging that the Cumberland roadside zoo harms and harasses two lemurs, five tigers, and a lion in violation of federal law by displaying them in decrepit enclosures without appropriate companionship or proper enrichment, food, potable water, and shelter, among other failures to meet minimal animal-care standards. PETA is asking the court to declare that Tri-State is in violation of federal law and to appoint a special guardian to identify reputable wildlife sanctuaries where the animals could be placed, consistent with their best interests.

“Tri-State Zoological Park has a rap sheet of animal-welfare violations a mile long,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet. “PETA is pushing for these lemurs and big cats to be freed from this roadside zoo, which has repeatedly demonstrated that it can’t even provide animals with basics like clean drinking water.”

In nature, ring-tailed lemurs live in large social groups ranging from eight to 20 individuals, but at Tri-State, there are only two lemurs, and they’re displayed in an unsanitary, barren cage. Tigers in nature roam vast territories, but PETA alleges that at Tri-State, the five tigers are confined to an unsanitary pit—and while swimming is essential for these animals’ well-being, three of them have only a small pool that’s constantly contaminated with urine and feces. In the wild, lions live in large social groups called prides, but PETA alleges that at Tri-State, the lion Peka is displayed in isolation in an unsanitary enclosure with no shade from the hot sun. The only other lion at the facility, Mbube, died earlier this year after becoming emaciated. He apparently did not receive adequate veterinary care for his condition.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—also alleges that Tri-State exposes the tigers and lions to disease by allowing domestic cats, at least one of whom may carry feline immunodeficiency virus, to roam freely throughout the facility. It also allows members of the public to have direct contact with big cats, which distresses the animals.

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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