A giraffe, a hog, a zebra and a rabbit were all mistreated at McClain Lodge in Brandon, Mississippi, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture Citation and Notification of Penalty, which resulted in a $16,000 fine for the facility.
McClain Lodge is a resort, restaurant and drive thru safari that holds captive exotic animals including zebras, deer, otters, lemurs, coatimundis, giraffes and other animals.
McClain Lodge was issued an official Notification of Penalty on January 10, 2022, for several incidents that occurred from November 2020-May 2021.
The Notification describes a November 17, 2020, incident involving an adult female red river hog who was found unresponsive and seizing in an outdoor enclosure. Employees brought the hog inside to provide warmth and medication, but later returned the hog to her enclosure.
A week later, the same hog was found to be convulsing and cold in the outdoor enclosure. For the second time, the hog was brought inside and placed in an indoor enclosure. Five days passed before the hog was again found outside and non-responsive. Employees brought the hog inside but the animal died about 90 minutes later. A necropsy was not performed but the attending veterinarian confirmed that the cause of death was likely hypothermia.
On December 10, 2020, an adult female reticulated giraffe was found dead in the giraffe enclosure at McClain Lodge, according to the USDA Notification. A necropsy revealed the animal had died due to severe intestinal parasites which caused anemia and protein loss. The attending veterinarian concurred that the weather leading up to the giraffe’s death was cold and the cold exposure may have contributed to the giraffe’s death.
On January 20, 2021, USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) officials cited McClain Lodge for an adult female zebra that had suffered an injury while in the main safari park pasture. The zebra had sustained a 1-2 inch puncture wound that was suspected to have been the result of an encounter with a bison housed in the same enclosure. At the time of the USDA inspection, the zebra was still being housed in the same enclosure as the bison.
On May 21, 2021, APHIS cited McClain Lodge for a female gray rabbit that was holding her right ear down and shaking her head.
“Upon further inspection, the animal was observed to have dark brown debris and thick scabs that covered the inside surface of the ear,” APHIS documented in their report. “The edges of the ear were visibly red.”
The USDA inspector noted that the totality of the violations at McClain Lodge indicated that the facility had mishandled animals, failed to demonstrate adequate experience and knowledge of the species they maintain, and failed to provide adequate veterinary care to animals.
“McClain Lodge failed to protect an animal carefully to avoid physical harm or unnecessary discomfort,” according to the Notification.
McClain Lodge was ordered to pay $16,000 as a penalty for violating the Animal Welfare Act. A USDA animal inventory from September 22, 2021, indicates McClain Lodge no longer houses giraffes.
McClain Lodge Notification of Penalty: