The U.S. Department of Agriculture publicly listed a number of serious enforcement actions against roadside zoos today. Here's a quick rundown:
Animal dealer Shawn Zielke of EZ’s farm in Ionia, Michigan, was cited with an Official Warning March 17 for failing to clean animal enclosures that were filled with urine, feces, dead hamsters and organic material.
DeLavan Lake Animal Park in DeLavan, Wisconsin, which goes by the name Animal Gardens, was cited with an Official Warning March 17 for failing to have a perimeter fence around their outdoor animal housing facilities and for failing to safely handle animals after a marble fox escaped from its enclosure and was hit and killed by a car three days later.
Barking Cow Farms in Brilliant, Alabama, was cited with an Official Warning March 17 for failing to provide veterinary care to a wild caught and imported coatimundi that had one-quarter of an inch of white bone sticking out of the tip of its tail surrounded by one-half of an inch of bright red tissue. The coatimundi was observed to be highly stressed and started chewing on its tail wound while the USDA inspector was present.
Animal Haven Zoo in Weyauwega, Wisconsin, was fined $6,450 March 23 for repeatedly violating the Animal Welfare Act. Violations included exhibiting a three-week-old tiger cub at an elementary and high school and failing to provide water to a liger for so long that when given water the animal drank for more than four minutes.
The USDA suspended the license of Sally Reaves, owner of World of Wildlife Educational Encounters in Walworth, New York, March 24. The New York Department of Environmental Conservation and the USDA seized more than 800 animals from Reaves on March 14. Reaves is also under criminal investigation.
Michael Joseph Hendrick, owner of Double H Exotics in Santos, Texas, was cited with an Official Warning March 25 for failing to provide veterinary care to a male giraffe he was temporarily housing that died of malnourishment in Oct. 2021. A veterinarian attributed the giraffe’s death to a nutritional deficiency or management issue. In May 2021, Hendrick transported two giraffes named Stanley and Tiny from Malibu Wine Safaris in California to Texas after county officials prohibited Malibu Wine Safaris from keeping wild animals for commercial purposes. Stanley’s current location has been determined, however, it is likely that the giraffe that died at Double H Exotics was Tiny.
Waccatee Zoo in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, was fined $7,800 March 30 for repeatedly violating animal welfare regulations. Violations include failing to provide clean and sanitary water to aoudad sheep, fallow deer and a dromedary camel, and for failing to provide veterinary care to two llamas, one dall ram and two aoudads.