Video, Photos: Feds Alerted to New Animal Welfare Violations at Mobile Zoo

Animals Reported to Be Suffering From Painful Injuries; PETA Calls for Investigation

For Immediate Release:
September 8, 2014

David Perle 202-483-7382

Wilmer, Ala. – This summer alone, The Mobile Zoo, a roadside zoo in Wilmer, has been slapped with 18 citations for violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA)—and that number is likely to go up. PETA has just sent an urgent letter alerting the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to photographs and video footage taken by a recent visitor to the facility that show, among other issues, a black leopard suffering from an oozing eye condition—likely the same condition for which The Mobile Zoo was cited more than a year ago—as well as a tiger limping in apparent pain, dangerously rusted and sagging fencing on the bobcat and lion enclosures, and a bird with red, swollen, oozing eyes.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—is asking the USDA to inspect the facility and hold it accountable for any further violations of the AWA that inspectors find. PETA is also urging the Mobile County Animal Control and Alabama’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to investigate for violations of state law.

“Apparently, not even a rap sheet listing dozens of violations of federal law and an ongoing federal investigation have been enough to get The Mobile Zoo to clean up its act,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders. “PETA is asking authorities to crack down on this despicable roadside menagerie—and telling families to stay far away from The Mobile Zoo, for safety’s and the animals’ sake.”

Since January 2013, the USDA has cited The Mobile Zoo for at least 47 AWA violations. Other apparent violations noted in PETA’s complaint include a bobcat, a tiger, a leopard, and bears pacing in evident distress as well as a bear who had loose stools—a reportedly recurring issue at The Mobile Zoo. Last year, a whistleblower told PETA that the bears are fed an unsuitable diet of dog food.

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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