Missouri: Predator World may be investigated
PETA officials ask Agriculture Department to revoke Predator World’s license
By SBJ Staff
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has sent a letter to Robert M. Gibbens, western regional director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s animal care unit, urging him to launch an investigation into Predator World, a zoo and aquarium in Branson West.
In a news release, PETA officials said the request comes in the wake of news reports that three timber wolves escaped from their enclosure at Predator World on Feb. 15.
In the letter, Lisa Wathne, PETA captive exotic animal specialist, suggests that Predator World may have violated at least two provisions of the federal Animal Welfare Act that address soundness of enclosures and perimeter fencing. PETA is asking the USDA to take steps to revoke Predator World’s exhibitor’s license if an investigation determines that the recent incident constitutes a violation of AWA.
“Roadside zoos like Predator World deprive animals of their basic needs, and when the animals see an opportunity to escape their dreary lives, they often take it,” said PETA Director Debbie Leahy, in a news release. “Predator World failed to properly enclose these wolves and put their safety – not to mention the safety of the community at large – at risk because of it.”
According to news reports, the wolves broke apart the fencing surrounding their enclosure and then dug their way underneath a perimeter fence. One had been captured by press time.
PETA officials say that animals can go insane from being confined as well as from a lack of physical exercise and mental stimulation.