Wisconsin Roadside Zoo Under Fire for Big-Cat Cub Dealings

PETA Alerts Authorities to Special Memories Zoo's Interstate Receipt of Three 2-Week-Old Lion Cubs

For Immediate Release:
June 15, 2017

Sophia Charchuk 202-483-7382

Greenville, Wis. – PETA has sent a complaint to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) concerning Special Memories Zoo in Greenville, which apparently arranged for the interstate transfer of three 2-week-old lion cubs—who were forcibly and prematurely separated from their mothers—in apparent violation of the federal Animal Welfare Act.

According to certificates of veterinary inspection issued to the notorious Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park (aka “G.W. Zoo”) in Oklahoma, Special Memories Zoo arranged for the transfer from G.W. Zoo of two of the cubs on January 30 and of the third on April 17. USDA policy acknowledges that neonatal cubs (baby animals 4 weeks of age or younger) are not able to regulate their body temperatures and have an underdeveloped immune system, placing them at risk of disease and infection.

“Tearing lion cubs away from their mothers in order to ship them across the country and use them for unscrupulous purposes such as photo ops puts these baby animals’ lives at risk,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet. “PETA is calling on federal authorities to crack down on Special Memories Zoo and any other business that profits from young animals’ misery.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—has also asked the USDA to investigate facilities in Florida, Illinois, and Oregon that have received neonatal big-cat cubs from G.W. Zoo and to investigate G.W. Zoo for transferring these animals. PETA has also asked the USDA to investigate why G.W. Zoo’s veterinarian repeatedly signed off on these transfers and has asked the Oklahoma Veterinary Board to hold her professionally accountable.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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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