Pseudo-sanctuary brings tigers, lions to N.M. mall

G.W. Exotic Animal Park is the subject of an undercover report:

By Kyle Marksteiner
Article Launched: 04/04/2007 07:30:08 PM MDT

A pack of energetic baby lions, tigers, bears, kangaroos and other animals are visiting the mall as part of a traveling program put on by the G.W. Exotic Animal Park.

Human visitors can pay to be photographed or to play with the healthy, clean animals, which are spending the week in the center of the mall.

Children visiting the mall Wednesday, along with most of their parents, were unable to resist visiting an especially curious duo of baby lions. A pack of baby bears pounced on each other in a nearby area. One girl bragged that she was about to be photographed wit h a kangaroo.

The show will be in Carlsbad until Sunday. The event will also include a free “Mystical Magic of the Endangered” magic show featuring illusionist “Joe Exotic.” Showtimes are 6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Plenty of animal toys and items are also for sale, and proceeds go to support the animal park.

The main park, where all the adult animals live, is in Wynnewood, Okla. The 16-acre sanctuary is home to 165 tigers, 37 lions, 39 bears and more than 1,400 other animals. Many of the residents, according to the park’s Web page, were rescued from neglect, starvation, abandonment, hunting ranches and other situations. The babies involving in the traveling program are often the children of rescued animals.

“We are bringing our show out here to let people see these exotic animals,” said Beth Corley, one of the park staff members at the mall this week. “We want to also teach them about not having (exotic) pets, because that’s where most of our animals come from — rescues.”

The nightly magic show, Corley said, includes an educational message about animals and the environment, along with positive messages about saying no to drugs, drunk driving and bullying. For more information about the G.W. Exotic Animal Foundation, visit or call 405-665-5197.


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