Wilstem Wildlife Park in Paoli, Indiana, has been fined for a number of violations including euthanizing a llama by crushing it to death and scaring an antelope so badly that it ran into a fence and broke its neck.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture issued a Citation and Notification of Penalty to Wilstem on February 17, 2022, outlining the following violations:
In early February 2020, Wilstem personnel euthanized a llama by dropping the live animal into a hole intended for burial and crushing its skull with an excavator bucket.
During a May 13, 2020 USDA inspection, three elands, a species of antelope, escaped from their enclosure. Wilstem personnel attempted to recapture the animals using a tranquilizer dart gun. The sound of the dart gun scared the animals who ran in different directions. A female eland ran into a fence post and broke her neck.
During an August 8, 2020 USDA inspection, a kangaroo escaped its enclosure by jumping over a five-foot fence. The animal was not found until two days later.
During a September 15, 2020 USDA inspection, officials cited Wilstem for failing to construct a perimeter fence of sufficient height to keep animals and unauthorized persons out.
Wilstem was cited with five non-critical violations and three critical violations for the infractions. They’ve been ordered to pay an $8,000 fine.
On March 8, 2022, Wilstem released a statement addressing the violations. Read that statement below:
"Wilstem Wildlife Park prides ourselves on the treatment of our animals. The thousands of people that visit our facility recognize the great care our animals receive. An incident occurred over two years ago in reference to the mistreatment of a llama. A very sick animal under veterinary care was nearing end of life. Proper protocols were not followed, and owners were misled. Corrective action was immediately taken, and we were devastated about how the situation was handled. Since then, we have agreed and paid the fine of $8,000, been working closely with the USDA, and have received four inspections all of which resulted in zero violations. We strongly encourage anyone to visit our facility to witness for yourselves the care and respect we show our animals."
Wilstem Citation and Notification of Penalty:
Wilstem USDA Inspection Report: