Visitors' Photographs of Underweight Tiger, Filthy Water, and Barren Enclosures Prompt Call for Investigation
August 7, 2014
David Perle 202-483-7382
Wilmer, Ala. – Wilmer-based roadside zoo The Mobile Zoo was slapped with 14 citations for violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA) in June—but according to recent visitors, the business still hasn’t cleaned up its act. As PETA notes in an urgent letter sent this morning to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the group recently received photographs and video taken by visitors to The Mobile Zoo showing a very underweight tiger whose vertebrae were visible, bears with shaggy coats panting in the heat, filthy water bowls left out for the fox and coatimundi who are forced to live on concrete slabs, and fly-covered raw meat left on the ground for big cats, among other incidents.
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 may find.
“Visitors were appalled by the suffering and neglect they saw on display at The Mobile Zoo, and they called PETA the second they got home,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders. “PETA is asking authorities to investigate these reports immediately—and we’re warning families that The Mobile Zoo is no place to take kids or anyone else who cares about animals.”
Since January 2013, the USDA has cited The Mobile Zoo for at least 43 AWA violations. The facility is currently under formal investigation by the USDA. Other apparent violations noted in PETA’s complaint include the solitary chimpanzee Joe’s virtually barren cage, which contains only a tire and a dirty barrel for “enrichment,” and a skittish and apparently distressed coyote who was running in circles. Both visitors also noted that an alligator at The Mobile Zoo is kept in a tiny enclosure overrun with weeds and that the enclosure’s shallow pool is teeming with algae. The USDA does not regulate cold-blooded animals.