Texas city council nixes traveling animal exhibit, gets PETA award

‘Pseudo-Sanctuary’ Has History of Animal Abuse, Public Endangerment, Violations of Federal Law

For Immediate Release:
February 14, 2007

Contact:
Lisa Wathne 757-622-7382

Lake Jackson, Texas — For voting to deny a proposed exhibit by Wynnewood, Okla.-based G.W. Exotic Animal Memorial Park (GW) at Brazos Mall, the Lake Jackson City Council will receive a certificate of appreciation from PETA. GW masquerades as a sanctuary but has a long history of violating the federal Animal Welfare Act. PETA points out that the council made the right decision in rejecting GW because—in addition to treating animals cruelly—GW has repeatedly put the public at risk. Last month, one of GW’s young lion cubs injured a woman in San Angelo.

A PETA investigation conducted last year at GW documented dead, dying, and injured animals; a serious lack of basic necessities such as food, water, and veterinary care; cramped cages; and untrained, insufficient staff who were intentionally cruel to animals. PETA’s investigator witnessed a suffering lion whose leg had been torn off by tigers, a wounded horse who languished for days with an untreated broken leg before dying and being fed to big cats, tigers who were hit with a rifle butt, and a goat who had an untreated head wound. Two healthy adult tigers were killed, and their teeth were reportedly cut out to be given away as gifts. Several baby bears and tigers traveling in GW’s road show died when they were only a few weeks old, presumably from stress.

In January 2006, GW was placed on an 18-month probation and paid a $25,000 fine to settle U.S. Department of Agriculture charges that included dangerous animal-handling practices, filthy transport conditions, and failure to provide drinking water.

“We commend the Lake Jackson City Council for sending a clear message that abusive, dangerous animal displays are not welcome,” says PETA Director Debbie Leahy. “Traveling animal menageries are notoriously cruel. The best way for a community to defend these animals and protect its own citizens at the same time is to bar these displays altogether.”

PETA’s letter to the Lake Jackson City Council is available upon request. For more information, please visit PETA’s Web site WildlifePimps.com.

http://www.peta.org/mc/NewsItem.asp?id=9522

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