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Posted on Oct 11, 2018 in Abuse, Browse by Name | 0 comments

Jungle Safari AKA The Zoo Pat and Robert Engesser

Jungle Safari AKA The Zoo Pat and Robert Engesser

Jungle Safari AKA The Zoo Pat and Robert Engesser

Jungle Safari (formerly known as Engesser’s Exotic Felines, Luce Enterprises, The Zoo, and Endangered Species, Inc.)  is a privately-owned traveling petting zoo which spends 9 months of the year displaying big cats and their cubs in the parking lots of malls and shopping centers.  Although it occasionally claims to be a “rescue,” owners Pat and Robert Engesser are for-profit big cat breeders who have repeatedly failed to comply with minimal animal care standards established in the federal Animal Welfare Act.

USDA inspectors have cited Jungle Safari numerous times for repeatedly failing to provide animals with appropriate food, water, veterinary care, and enrichment, failing to maintain enclosures and transport trailers, and housing animals in filthy cages. They have also been cited for exhibiting animals with zoonotic (transmissible to humans) diseases, for the death of a tiger cub, and for the injury of a 5-year-old girl who was attacked by a leopard.

PETA Alerts Authorities to Jungle Safari’s Interstate Receipt of 4-Week-Old Neonatal Tiger Cub

June 15, 2017

PETA has sent a complaint to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) concerning Jungle Safari, a traveling zoo based in Trenton, which apparently arranged for the interstate transfer of a 4-week-old tiger cub—who was forcibly and prematurely separated from her mother—in apparent violation of the federal Animal Welfare Act.

According to a certificate of veterinary inspection issued to the notorious Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park (aka “G.W. Zoo”) in Oklahoma, Jungle Safari arranged for the tiger cub’s transfer from G.W. Zoo. USDA policy acknowledges that neonatal cubs (baby animals 4 weeks of age or younger) are not able to regulate their body temperatures and have an underdeveloped immune system, placing them at risk of disease and infection.

Jungle Safari also apparently arranged for the transfer of a 5-week-old tiger cub—but the destination on the certificate was the Oklahoma shopping mall at which the G.W. Zoo–affiliated Neon Jungle exhibits and sells “playtime” with tiger, bear, and wolf or wolf-dog hybrid cubs and a lemur. PETA is asking the USDA to investigate this transfer.

PETA has also asked the USDA to investigate facilities in Illinois, Oregon, and Wisconsin that have received neonatal big-cat cubs from G.W. Zoo and to investigate G.W. Zoo for transferring these animals. PETA has also asked the USDA to investigate why G.W. Zoo’s veterinarian repeatedly signed off on these transfers and has asked the Oklahoma Veterinary Board to hold her professionally accountable.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

In 2016, a Jungle Safari employee was arrested for multiple counts of sexually molesting young girls who visited the exhibit. A lawsuit brought against the petting zoo and the shopping plaza they were set up at alleged that Jungle Safari continued to allow this employee to work with children even after his misconduct was brought to their attention.

Note the first cub is only 6 weeks old and not even old enough for her first inoculations to protect her from disease.  USDA guidelines say she should still be with her mother until she’s four weeks old.  If that had happened she wouldn’t tolerate being touched by humans.  She’s clearly stressed and wants to nurse when the keeper tosses in the furry toy.  The 10 month old is biting her front paws hard and the videographer notes that back claws are visible, but it looks like she’s been declawed on the front, even though that’s been illegal since 2006.  When asked what zoo the cubs are going to the keepers get vague and we are pretty sure it’s because they aren’t proud of the circumstances that await these cubs.

This is what videographers have to say:

Published on Jul 4, 2012 by Sophiaz123

“Tigers need water to cool off in hot weather. This is a horrid Zoo Safari in Hamilton, Ohio in front of Big Lots on Rt. 4, july 4th, the temperature was 100 degrees and VERY humid. Taken at 5pm. Sorry only 9 seconds. Shot a second video but was shakier than this one. I was very upset and trying to hold it together. I am sure the fan on him feels like a hot blow dryers. Disgusting that this Robert Engesser guy calls himself a “traveling zoo” when it’s nothing but Animal Cruelty Galore. From Chiefland, Florida. Google him yourself. Disturbing. He has a camel, monkeys, goats and wild cats. He keeps his cats in cages like this for MINIMUM of 4 weeks. It can NEVER walk around!! Disgraceful. Tigers need to swim to cool off. I saw no water. The police did nothing when I called them. Powerless they said ????”

 

https://www.facebook.com/OutreachForAnimals/videos/3160931756024/

Tim Harrison of Outreach for Animals filmed this disturbing video at Jungle Safari in 2012. He writes:

“I went there and could not believe what I saw. The big cats, (tigers, a black leopard, and a lion cub) were overheated and panting rapidly. The temperature was 96 degrees (110 heat index) The tigers and black leopard had no comfortable flooring for their small cages. The 8 week old lion cub was being used for photos and passed around to anyone who wanted to touch it. There are too many lions being bred by dealers in the USA just to be used for money making “educational traveling zoos.” Most are destroyed after growing too large. I spoke with the manager of Big Lots where the “zoo” had its tent set up in their parking lot. He said they will not have them back next year. It is up to all of us to stop this cruelty. Please contact the owners of properties where this madness happens and… …ask them to be more humane.”

Animal Cruelty

Jungle Safari exhibits leopards, lions, and other large cats in tiny, hot, barren travel cages for weeks at a time, and constantly breeds tiger and lion cubs in order to sell $15 “photo ops” with little regard for federal laws or animal welfare. When not on the road, the animals are housed in small enclosures on Engesser’s farm in Trenton, Florida.

Jungle Safari has been cited by the USDA for the following violations of the Animal Welfare Act:

USDA License #58-C-0295

It’s impossible to know if there are more recent citations as the USDA is hiding the inspection reports and telling inspectors to “educate” rather than cite violators.

January 5, 2015: The USDA cited Jungle Safari for failure to dispose of expired medication. One of the drugs had expired in December 2009. The inspector noted that “[u]sing expired medication for treatment is not an accepted and appropriate method of veterinary care.”

September 7, 2011: The USDA cited Jungle Safari for putting the public and animals at risk by placing a young lion directly onto the laps of children. The inspector noted that in “all cases,” the zoo attendant had no control over the 11-week-old lion cub and that the practice “could easily result in injury.” Adults were also allowed to hold and handle the cub as well as a kangaroo and a capuchin monkey.

July 12, 2011: The USDA cited Jungle Safari for accumulations of dirt in the food storage and  preparation areas, including under and around the freezers, cooler, table, and food containers.

March 18, 2011: The USDA cited Jungle Safari for using a “highly active” 16-week-old tiger cub in public photo sessions. Engesser said that he would be replacing the tiger with another. He was also cited for causing a primate psychological harm by housing a 12-year-old weeper capuchin monkey alone after her mate died. The inspector noted that the monkey had excessive hair loss and observed her biting her tail. There was no environmental enhancement plan—as required for primates—to address her neurotic and abnormal behavior. Engesser refused to sign the report.

February 13, 2010: A 9.5-foot-long python was “stolen” from Jungle Safari after the snake was left caged in a South Fort Myers, Florida, parking lot overnight.

October 26, 2007: The USDA cited Jungle Safari for improper handling of animals. An unvaccinated 6-week-old lion cub was being used for public photo sessions, putting the cub at risk of contracting contagious diseases.

May 25, 2007: The USDA cited Jungle Safari for failure to maintain acquisition records for a water buffalo obtained from a person who did not have a USDA license.

July 13, 2006: The USDA cited Jungle Safari for an incomplete program of veterinary care, which omitted vaccination information for two juvenile lion cubs, dosages of chemical restraint drugs for adult tigers and leopards, names and dosages of deworming medication for all animals, and any records of care for a young kangaroo. The inspector also noted that the two lion cubs being used in photo shoots would soon be too large to be safely handled during direct public contact.

January 23, 2004: The USDA cited Jungle Safari for failure to have a responsible person available so that an inspection could be performed.

May 29, 2003: A USDA inspector recommended that Jungle Safari implement signage advising visitors to wash their hands after touching the animals and to provide methods for doing so. The inspector wrote, “The farm animals are of particular concern, especially the calf.”

February 27, 2003: A USDA inspector noted that Jungle Safari lacked sufficient environmental enrichment for primates.

March 1, 2002: The USDA cited Jungle Safari for allowing children to come into direct contact with animals without supervision during exhibition. For the third time, the USDA cited the facility for failing to develop and implement an environment enrichment plan for primates. The baboon and a lemur were exhibiting stereotypic behavior.

August 22, 2001: During an inspection, the USDA noted that the baboon’s stereotypic behavior was still not being addressed.

May 24, 2001: The USDA cited Jungle Safari for failing to provide environment enrichment to a baboon housed alone or to the ring-tailed lemurs. The baboon was seen pacing and head-rolling. A lion cub was being fed an inadequate diet of goat milk replacer (“photo prop cubs” are often deliberately malnourished in order to keep them small for as long as possible). Water containers for the camel and llama were covered in algae.

August 17, 2000: Jungle Safari was cited for failing to provide proper veterinary care to a tiger cub suffering from metabolic bone disease due to lack of proper diet and to a leopard with several areas of missing hair.

June 28, 2000: During a complaint- based inspection, the USDA cited Jungle Safari for failing to provide adequate food to animals.

November 4, 1999: The USDA cited Jungle Safari for failing to store food to protect against deterioration, mold, or contamination by vermin.

April 30, 1999: Jungle Safari was cited for keeping a tiger cub in a cage in which he was unable to turn about freely and make normal postural adjustments. The exhibit was again cited for failing to maintain proper veterinary records to document that an underweight elephant was receiving proper medical attention.

January 28, 1999: The USDA cited Jungle Safari for failing to provide an inclusive program of veterinary care, including measures to prevent zoonosis. A lion cub transmitted ringworm to other animals and a caretaker. The facility was also cited for failing to keep enclosures and food storage areas in good repair. A dead tiger cub was found in the freezer, having died of an unknown (“probably infectious”) respiratory illness.

July 24, 1998: During a complaint- based inspection, the USDA cited Jungle Safari for failing to maintain enclosures adequate to prevent animals from escaping. The exhibitor was also cited for lack of a proper program of veterinary care.

April 24, 1996: The USDA cited Jungle Safari for failing to maintain transport enclosures in good repair.

November 7, 1995: Jungle Safari was cited for improper storage of supplies, for failing to maintain enclosures in good repair, and for a lack of proper water sources for three leopards.

May 20, 1995: In a letter to the owners of Jungle Safari, the attending veterinarian noted observations that the big cats were overweight and stated that a leopard’s tail had to be amputated.

May 15, 1995: Jungle Safari was cited for failing to maintain enclosures in order to prevent injury to animals.

March 2, 1995: The USDA cited Jungle Safari for housing goats, sheep, and llamas in enclosures in which they could not make normal postural adjustments. It was again cited for failing to provide enrichment to a baboon who was constantly pacing and picking at her skin—a sign of zoochosis. There was also no record of veterinary care, and an elephant was observed to be thin.

October 12, 1994: The USDA cited Jungle Safari for failing to store food in order to prevent contamination and to maintain transport containers in good repair.

June 10, 1994: Jungle Safari was cited for failing to store food properly to prevent contamination. The baboon was exhibiting stereotypic behavior indicative of zoochosis.

March 8-11, 1994: During this inspection, the USDA cited Jungle Safari for failing to maintain enclosures in good repair and for failing to store bedding to prevent contamination. A male tiger was noted as underweight and suffering from a lame paw. Jungle Safari staff was not able to provide records to account for the whereabouts of all animals. Enclosures and perimeter fencing were noted to be inadequate to safely contain animals. The camel’s water source was found to be filled with algae and silt.

February 11, 1994: The USDA cited Jungle Safari for failing to implement an environment enrichment program for primates, and the lemurs did not have access to a den to which they could retreat from the public. Food was noted to be stored in a manner in which it could become contaminated, and enclosures were noted to be in disrepair.

May 11, 1993: The USDA cited Jungle Safari for housing lemurs, lions, and tigers in transport containers.

August 9, 1990: According to the Rapid City Journal, a leopard attacked and mauled a 5-year-old girl while on display at the Black Hills Motor Classic in South Dakota. Reportedly, the leopard, who was restrained with a small chain fastened to a box, leaped on the girl’s back as she walked past him.

Cub Abuse

Robert Engesser Jungle Safari Zoo Abuse Jungle Safari makes tens of thousands of dollars in profit by selling photos of guests holding a tiger or lion cub. But since USDA recommends that cubs only be handled by the public between the ages of 8 and 12 weeks, Jungle Safari must constantly breed, exploit, and dump cubs in order to continue selling photos. Pictures posted online by Engesser and his employees show a constant stream of injured, inbred, and sick cubs on display at Jungle Safari. Shortly after birth, staff remove baby lions and tigers from their mothers and place them in dog crates, where the tiny cubs rub their noses raw and bloody on the bars in a frantic attempt to escape.

Robert Engesser Jungle Safari Zoo Abuse

On exhibit, the cubs are used as photo props, constantly handled by the public, and placed in the laps of children, even when they are too exhausted to hold their heads up.

Because Jungle Safari uses inbreeding in an attempt to create white tigers, many of the cubs are born with genetic deformities such as crossed eyes. These animals are sometimes kept as “breeders,” resulting in generation after generation of damaged cubs.

Robert Engesser Jungle Safari Zoo AbuseOccasionally, Jungle Safari buys newborn cubs from breeders in other states. In June 2017, a certificate of veterinary inspection issued to the notoriously abusive G.W. Zoo in Oklahoma revealed that Jungle Safari arranged for the interstate transfer of a 4-week-old tiger cub, who was forcibly and prematurely separated from her mother, in apparent violation of the federal Animal Welfare Act. USDA policy acknowledges that neonatal cubs (4 weeks of age or younger) are not able to regulate their body temperatures and have an underdeveloped immune system, placing them at risk of disease and infection.

In 2017, Jungle Safari brought this tiny lion cub to a local radio station. Not only should this cub still be with his mother, he appears to be thin with a scruffy coat.

Where do the cubs go?

Once cubs are too large for the public to handle, Jungle Safari sells them and replaces them with new cubs. Nobody knows where the majority of these cubs end up, but it is known that the owners of Jungle Safari have known connections with notoriously abusive private zoos and circus trainers, including Joe Schreibvogel Maldonado Passage, Vincent Von Duke, Kathy Stearns, Brian Staples, Josip Marcan, “doc” Antle, Lynn Culver, and Felicia Frisco.

In January 2005, the owners of Jungle Safari advertised lion cubs for sale in Animal Finders’ Guide, a (now defunct) trade publication for private exotic animal breeders and dealers. Later that year, a Hernando Today article interviewed Pat Engesser at an exotic-animal auction in Florida. Engesser, described as a big cat breeder for 30 years, said that she attended the auction with the hope of selling lion cubs to other breeders. Animals sold at such auctions often end up at canned hunts, in the “pet” trade, or at poorly run roadside zoos.

Jungle Safari is known to have sold cubs to the notorious “Hovatter’s Wildlife Zoo“, a roadside menagerie in West Virginia that has shown repeated contempt for federal regulations.

These lion cubs were sold by Jungle Safari to the notoriously abusive DEW Haven, where they were kept in the living room of a house.

Robert Engesser Jungle Safari Zoo Abuse

Around 2015, this lion cub with a severe case of ringworm was sold by Jungle Safari to an undisclosed buyer.

RingwormRobert Engesser Jungle Safari Zoo Abuse

A History of Abuse

The company that would become Jungle Safari was founded in 1968 by Roxy (Luce) Engesser, a circus trainer who decided to make a living breeding exotic cats for zoos and traveling the country to sell photos with the cubs. By 1984, “Engesser’s Exotic Felines” had a whopping 286 breeding big cats on lease to other private exhibitors nationwide, according to an Ocala Star-Banner report about Engesser’s plans to build a “retirement home” for her animals in a residential Levy County subdivision. In the article, Mrs. Engesser made the dangerous (and false) claim that “these aren’t wild cats, they’ve been hand raised. After about 10 generations in captivity, these animals even lose the instinct to kill their prey.” When Roxy passed away, the family big cat business was left in the hands of her son, Robert, and his wife, Pat.

Two Cats Who Were Abused and Abandoned by Roxy Engesser

Snorkle Tiger

Snorkle Tiger

Snorkel Tiger was bred in 1996 by Roxy Engesser, the same abuser who bred Nakoma the lion. She breeds lions and tigers and uses them to make money by selling you a photo of you holding a cute little cub. Typically these cubs are starved, deprived of bone building calcium and even poisoned to give them constant diarrhea so that they cannot gain weight. They do this because the cubs are only profitable while they are small. Once they reach 45 pounds they cannot be touched by the public, according to FL state law, and then they are discarded.

Snorkel was given to a small family operated circus when he exceeded 45 pounds at the age of 6 months but because he had been so deprived of nutrition he was very tiny and stands on little stunted legs. The other bigger circus tigers beat him up and one bit him across the nose so severely that when he chuffs it sounds like he is drowning, thus his name. He has never had soft grass to roll in nor a pool or mountain cave to call his own before going to Big Cat Rescue.

Nakoma Lion was used as a photo prop by the owners of Jungle Safari. He was purposely starved, deprived of vitamins and calcium, and kept in a small concrete space. Hardly conditions fit for a king.

Nakoma Lion

Nakoma Lion

That’s when Big Cat Rescue stepped in and purchased young Nakoma at a livestock auction. Imagine that, the “king of beasts” being auctioned off. Nakoma was so crippled in the hind legs and so malnourished that no one wanted him and he was sold for only $200.  (Big Cat Rescue stopped paying to rescue animals in the ’90s)

Only a year earlier this little lion cub was being pimped out as a photo prop. His owner (Engesser) made money by selling people the opportunity to have their photograph taken with the cute and cuddly lion cub. In the state of Florida, however, it is against the law to allow contact with a big cat over 45 pounds. So Engesser purposely starved him and deprived him of vitamins to keep him under the weight limit. As a result of this deficiency, Nakoma developed paralysis in his hind legs. Crippled, unwanted and abused, he was found with gaping gashes in his body that had become infested with maggots. Yet despite all this, he was still a very lovable, talkative cub.

Big Cat Rescue took Nakoma into their care. But after a year and a half of proper nutrition and supplements, he was still having an increasingly hard time moving his back legs. It took him two hours just to walk across his pen by dragging himself with his front paws. X-rays, a spinal tap and MRI all came out negative, meaning that Nakoma’s paralysis had most likely been caused by the thiamine deficiency he endured.

On July 12, 1998, during his MRI, Nakoma tragically stopped breathing and died. His quiet passing may have been a blessing in disguise since nothing could be done for his crippled body. In fact, the vets said his condition would have continued to deteriorate until he could not move at all.

Today, Nakoma rests in a grave on the site, adorned with his proud picture. This brave little king will never be forgotten and everybody can take solace in that Big Cat Rescue was at least able to make his last years a little better.

News Coverage

Roadside zoo sparks protests, second thoughts

Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Posted Jan 19, 2007 at 3:24 AM

RobertEngesserJungleSafariZooAbuse7

I saw the tent being pitched and anxiously waited to see the wonderful animals that would soon be on display in South Venice.

Traveling zoos remind me of being a youngster and visiting the zoo with my parents and siblings. It was a day trip that we always looked forward to as children. Later, when I had my own children, I made sure we took similar trips at least once a year to see the animals and give my kids the same experience.

So when the Jungle Safari pulled into town, I was ready to relive the fond memories I had of those days. What I saw instead on repeated visits saddened me.

Maybe I was seeing with different eyes, but the wonderment of it all was gone.

A realization hit me that a traveling zoo is not the same as a zoo at all.

I saw large animals that were unable to run, raise their heads up and in one case, unable to turn around at all in their cages.

Some were standing in their own feces because they had nowhere else to go.

I saw a tiger cub repeatedly return to an empty water dish while several other cages had no water dish at all.

When David Hadley, 44, saw the roadside traveling zoo at the Venice Village Shoppes at U.S. 41 and Jacaranda Boulevard, he traded in his beach and house-hunting time for some protest time.

Creating a makeshift sign out of foam board, the Army veteran stood at the roadside garnering support from fellow animal lovers.

Among the honks of approval, however, were shouts of profanity and displays of obscene gestures. Hadley, a former airborne combat medic in the Army, stood firm.

“I have a right to protest, it’s a freedom of speech and I earned that right,” said Hadley, who suffers from a painful hip. With his walking cane and Luna, his rescued border collie mix, Hadley remained undaunted.

The Jungle Safari traveling zoo is owned and operated by Robert Engesser.

“It was my parents’ zoo, and now it is mine,” said Engesser, referring to the original owners as the Luce family.

Soon Hadley was joined by Englewood sisters Nicole Miers, 17, and Tiffany Miers-Pandolfi, 21.

Later, Venice MCC student Monica Moore, 18, joined the group with her own homemade sign.

“I’m a big animal lover and I don’t like to see animals trapped unfairly. They deserve a chance to be in their own habitat and have a happy life,” Moore said.

A state wildlife inspector visited the setup in South Venice and found no violations.

For nearly 11 months out of the year, the animals travel from parking lot to parking lot throughout the South.

A typical day requires them to stand from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. in small cages directly on pavement.

Engesser acknowledged that the protesters had a right to share their feelings but defended the zoo’s ability to expose kids to exotic creatures.

“I believe that the protesters are entitled to their opinion. But it’s a chance for kids to see animals they wouldn’t otherwise see. It’s a family thing. The protesters just don’t like to see animals in cages and they don’t like to see them spend their lives like that,” Engesser said.

Well, maybe.

But not so for North Port protester Holly Carver, who also joined the group objecting to the roadside menagerie.

“I do support zoos, but this is a whole different thing. I don’t believe it’s right for animals to be traveling in small environments. They can’t move around. It’s not much of a life for them,” Carver said sadly.

In his defense, Engesser added, “We are taking and raising these animals from babies, and they are used to captivity. They are used to it and comfortable with it. It’s not like we are taking them from the wild and putting them in captivity. They don’t have that stress factor.”

Maybe not, except for one small cub who had a noticeable mark on his forehead. A caretaker said the cub had been banging its head against its cage again and again.

“I’m here as a moral decision to stop the cruelty that the animals are subjected to. In 2007, it’s just unacceptable in our society,” said Hadley.

Pony ride worker accused of inappropriately touching children

By Tom Smith

Senior Staff Writer, Florence Times-Daily

Apr 30, 2016

Daryl V Raymond Jr., of Stockholm, MaineFLORENCE — A man working at a traveling petting zoo with the pony ride has been arrested and charged after police said he inappropriately was touching little girls who were riding the animals.

Police Sgt. Brad Holmes said Daryl V Raymond Jr., 48, of Stockholm, Maine, has been charged with two counts of sexual abuse of a child under 12.

Holmes said police were notified of the allegations Friday while detectives were investigating a homicide.

Reports indicate while the sexual abuse case was under investigation, a second victim came forward.

Police said Raymond was taken into custody Saturday morning at the petting zoo, which had set up operations in the Big Lots Shopping Center on Darby Drive.

Authorities said Raymond was picked up without incident, interviewed, then arrested and charged.

Police Detective Keith Johnson said Raymond was an employee of Jungle Safari, which is based in Chiefland, Florida.

He said after the investigation and arrest of Raymond, the owner of the petting zoo was closing his operation and leaving the area.

According to reports, since Raymond’s arrest, three more reports of similar incidents have been made to police.

Police said two of the incidents are supposed to have happened Thursday and three Friday. The victims are all young girls between the ages of 3 and 5.

Investigators said Raymond was working the pony ride and, according to allegations, he would have his left hand on the pole that guided the pony and his right hand on the saddle horn where the victims were sitting. During the ride, while he was walking with the pony, he would inappropriately touch the girls, police said.

Johnson said the first incident was reported Friday after a young girl told her family what happened and the police were notified.

Authorities said after reporting the incident, a family member put a post on social media about what had happened, and other incidents started being reported.

Raymond has denied the allegations.

More charges are pending as the case continues.

Sexual abuse of a child under 12 is a Class B felony, which is punishable by 2-20 years in prison.

Raymond is being held in the Lauderdale County Detention Center on bond of $100,000.

Petting zoo employee now has 5 child sex abuse charges in Alabama

Posted May 2, 2016

By Jonathan Grass, AL.com

A man already accused of sexually abusing two children who visited the traveling petting zoo where he works now faces additional charges.

Daryl V. Raymond Jr., 48, of Stockholm, Maine was arrested in Florence on Saturday.

He worked for Jungle Safari, a Florida-based petting zoo that travels to malls, fairs and festivals across the country, according to its website.

He was originally charged with two counts of sexual abuse of a child under the age of 12. Police say two children who visited the petting zoo came forward with accusations.

On Monday, Raymond was charged with three additional counts of sexual abuse of a child under the age of 12. He is in the Lauderdale County Detention Center on bonds totaling $250,000.

Five victims have come forward so far, and additional charges are pending, Sgt. Brad Holmes said.

Jungle Safari’s owner told Florence police that he planned to move the petting zoo to another city ahead of schedule. Holmes said the owner has cooperated fully throughout the investigation, which is ongoing.

Traveling zoos, carnivals only need business license

By Jennifer Edwards, Florence Times-Daily

May 3, 2016

FLORENCE — A simple business license is the only permission a traveling show needs in three of the four Shoals cities, but Florence officials are reviewing their process in the wake of a child sexual abuse case.

Obtaining a business license is the only requirement Jungle Safari had to meet before setting up a free petting zoo in a Darby Drive parking lot. An employee of that outfit, Daryl V. Raymond Jr., was arrested Saturday and charged with two counts of sexual abuse of a child under 12.

Florence Police Chief Ron Tyler wants to take another look at the business license requirement.

“When I talked to (Florence Mayor Mickey Haddock) Saturday to inform him about what was going on, he said then that, at the first opportunity, to get with the city attorney and look at making changes to the ordinance that governs those businesses,” Tyler said Monday.

“We want to look at the cost of temporary business licenses — businesses that are not going to make a permanent home here.”

Tyler said city officials would not prohibit temporary business license issuance to companies that come into Florence to do fundraisers for Shoals-based agencies or groups. He said scrutiny would be especially close on businesses such as the petting zoo traveling show.

“These companies are coming in with employees who may or may not have had background checks,” he said. “That is up to the employer.”

Raymond, 48, of Stockholm, Maine, is accused of inappropriately touching young girls while he was operating the pony ride at Jungle Safari. Chief Assistant District Attorney Will Powell said at Raymond’s initial court appearance Monday more charges are likely after three additional complaints were made. Raymond has been detained without bond in the Lauderdale County Detention Center pending a bond hearing scheduled for Friday.

“As a result to what happened Saturday, we are going to do some research into other cities as to how they handle temporary business licenses and see what we can do to strengthen some of the protection for our citizens,” Tyler said. “You just can’t have unknown people coming in with unknown backgrounds.”

Florence spokesman Phil Stevenson said if a vendor does not require a utility connection, the only permit necessary is a business license. The city’s simple business license is $75. Vendors selling wares pay a business license fee in proportion to anticipated sales.

Tyler said there is a reason authorities acted quickly Saturday when the allegations surfaced.

“We knew the petting zoo was not going to be here long and once he was gone, he would be gone,” Tyler said. “Hopefully this will never happen again. We’re trying to make sure it never does.”

Jungle Safari closed and left Florence on Saturday.

The latest United States Department of Agriculture inspection report shows Zoo/Jungle Safari is based in Chiefland, Florida, and is operated by Robert Engesser. A USDA inspection, performed March 17, 2016, when the traveling show was set up in Graceville, Florida, shows Jungle Safari had exotic animals including tigers, a camel, a kangaroo and several primates, goats, llamas and a cow or ox.

Obtaining a license for traveling vendors is fairly routine. In Florence, if a utility connection is required to operate lights, signs or rides, the city inspects the connection to ensure the work was done properly and safely, Stevenson said.

Tuscumbia requires a business license and requires fire-rated tents be used, according to city Building Official Luster Echols.

Sheffield requires a $100 flat fee for its privilege license, which is good for 10 days. In the case of a carnival, if there are peripheral vendors not associated with the carnival itself, each one would pay $10 a day to the city. The $100 flat fee is waived if it’s a nonprofit. Sheffield issues one privilege license every 120 days for the same vendor.

Muscle Shoals is the strictest among the four Shoals cities and imposes regulations on temporary vendors that go beyond a simple business license. Revenue Clerk Rebecca Barnett said a business license is required for anyone setting up in Muscle Shoals, but to obtain one the vendor must rent a suite or storefront at the location, have utility service turned on using the name of the operator, and have functioning restrooms.

Barnett said carnivals previously have set up in shopping center parking lots, but could not recall one recently.

Tyler said he is meeting with the Florence city attorney this week to discuss the ordinance governing temporary businesses.

“We can’t tolerate, never again, someone endangering our children,” he said.

Lawsuit filed in Lauderdale County against petting zoo & employee accused of sexual assault

Posted 2:52 pm, December 5, 2016, by Carter Watkins, WHNT19 News

FLORENCE, Ala. – A civil lawsuit has been filed against the owners of a petting zoo, who employed a man accused of inappropriately touching several small children. The lawsuit has been filed in Lauderdale County Circuit Court.

The 10-page complaint was filed on behalf of three sets of parents, whose children were allegedly touched by Daryl Raymond while he was working for Jungle Safari.

The complaint names Engesser’s Exotics, the parent company of Jungle Safari, the Florence Plaza, and Daryl Raymond as defendants.

The Florence Plaza is named as a defendant because according to the suit, they used the petting zoo as a promotion to get more shoppers to visit.

The plaintiffs state Jungle Safari and Florence Plaza should have known Raymond’s history and practice of assault, and in particular, sexual assault of minor children.

The suit claims Raymond touched three children on the dates of April 28th and 29th.

According to Florence Police, Raymond was working on a pony ride at Jungle Safari at that time.

In August, a Lauderdale County grand jury indicted Raymond on six counts of unlawful sexual abuse of a child under the age of 12.

The lawsuit goes on to say, Jungle Safari continued to allow Raymond to operate the pony ride after a complaint was brought to their attention on the 28th. The suit said two more victims were sexually assaulted on April 29th.

The plaintiffs are seeking damages to be determined by a jury.

According to Florence Police, there were a total of six victims Raymond is accused of touching.

Raymond is set to stand trial on criminal charges next spring.  Dates for the civil suit to be heard have not been set. Raymond remains in the Lauderdale County Detention Center on bail totaling $300,000.

Traveling exhibit of exotic animals stops in Bryan

By Brooke West, The Bryan Eagle

Dec 1, 2012

RobertEngesserJungleSafariZooAbuse9

It’s a zoo in Bryan this week.

Jungle Safari, a free exotic animal exhibit, set up in the 3700 block of Texas Avenue on Wednesday and will stay until Sunday at 5 p.m.

Mathilda, a four-year-old kangaroo, shoved her nose through a wire square, giving passersby a curious sniff. Empress the three-year-old Bengal tiger — all 425 pounds of her — slept soundly in her cage. A tiny but busy Zeus, a 9-week-old Bengal tiger cub, circled behind a fence, purring and nuzzling against the warm hands of caretakers who reached in to pet his fuzzy head.

The owner and manager of Jungle Safari, Robert Engesser, said he’s glad to be in Bryan for the first time.

“This enables us to share these guys with the public,” Engesser said, gesturing toward the monkeys, lemurs, goats, ponies, and the camel on display.

Engesser said the traveling zoo provides a chance for people in areas that don’t have permanent exhibits to see, learn and interact with the animals.

Engesser has been showing his variety of animals across the United States for 31 years, he said. He and his crew of handlers and caretakers are on the road for nine and a half months out of the year. The other two and a half months are spent on his land in Chiefland, Fla.

Admission to the exhibit — equipped with eight goats, one cow, two llamas, one camel, three ponies, one spotted mule, two monkeys, two lemurs, and two tigers — is free. There is a cost, however, to ride the camel or ponies, feed the animals or take pictures with them. There is also a white tiger and black leopard on display for a $1 charge.

Engesser said the free admission is “doing it the old-fashioned way.” He said the profits made through pictures, feeding and rides pays all of the employees and allows them to keep the exhibit on the move.

Dealing with large exotic animals safely, Engesser said, is a matter of their weight.

“You have to know what you are doing,” he said. “Size dictates how they should be handled. We want to protect the public from the animal and the animal from the public. These are still wild animals.”

The full-grown Bengal tiger was raised in captivity, Engesser said, and has grown up “socialized.”

“Anytime an animal is on display and confined, there is not a stress factor,” Engesser said. “Inevitably you will have the extreme view. There are a number of ways to be raised healthily in captivity.”

Engesser said his grandparents and parents were operating the traveling zoo before him.

Growing up, he hated it, he said. So he decided to be a mechanic instead.

“I wanted to get away from it so bad,” Engesser laughed. “Then I found out that’s work, too. I figured I might as well come back to what I love if I was gonna have to work anyway.”

In order to operate such a business, Jungle Safari must have an exhibitor license through the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Engesser also had to acquire a special event permit from the city of Bryan.

Dave Sacks, spokeswoman for the USDA, said the goal of licenses is to enforce the Animal Wellness Act.

“The act is a federal set of care standards that must be met for facilities with certain types of animals,” Sacks said. “We put them on unannounced inspections to see how they are treating their animals.”

Sacks said that anything not in compliance with general USDA guidelines is cited, and the operator is given a timeframe in which to correct the problem.

“It can be anything from a hole in the hippo’s cage, to a giraffe with a broken leg,” Sacks said. “It can really run the gamut.”

Regulations set by the organization are not specific, Sacks said. For instance, cage size standards are not determined for each animal, but should be large enough for the animal to move about freely.

“The bottom line is ensuring the welfare of these animals,” Sacks said. “The responsibility falls to them. These folks do what they need to do, and we do what we need to do to ensure the animals are healthy.”

Sacks said Jungle Safari’s last 11 inspections were “pretty clean.”

According to the USDA, the zoo was issued a warning letter on March 8, 1994, and a civil penalty of $250 on May 24, 1999.

Sacks could not detail the nature of the penalties because the cases are outdated.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has several citations to Jungle Safari listed on their website, but Sacks did not confirm that they are consistent with USDA records.

According to PETA, the March 8, 1994 infraction was for failure to maintain enclosures and failure to store bedding to prevent contamination.

There was not an entry in PETA’s records for the May 24, 1999 civil penalty.

Engesser said he thinks Jungle Safari has a “decent record” in all its 31 years.

He said there was an infraction in the past for improper food care for the animals, but the organization was in the process of building a new food housing system at the time.

“[The USDA] wants to oversee the animals’ health and welfare, Engesser said. “I think we’ve done a good job of that.”

When the animals aren’t on the road, he said, they have open spaces to roam back home in Florida.

He said he has a close relationship with two vets he consults with often to ensure the health of the animals.

A pair of sisters, 11-year-old Caitlyn and 8-year-old Ashlyn Seal, lit up as they stopped to gaze at each animal.

“It’s pretty cool,” Caitlyn said. “When we went to feed the goats we put the money in [the machine] and they all came right to it!”

Ashlyn said her favorite part was riding the 2,000 pound camel.

Their mom, Julie Seal, said she wanted to bring her daughters after hearing about the exhibit on the radio. She was especially excited about them getting to ride the camel.

“I remember riding one at a circus when I was little, so I wanted them to do it,” Julie said. “I do feel bad that the animals are kind of in cages but they’re so cute. It’s hard not to want to look at them.”

Engesser said there will be a public feeding Saturday at 7:30 p.m., where anyone is welcome to watch the exotic animals be fed. There will also be a lecture about the animals, he said.

2011 Fox News Charlotte Report on USDA Violations

MONROE, N.C. – From the tame and the typical to totally wild. The traveling petting zoo called Jungle Safari has a little bit of everything, all in the parking lot of Monroe Crossing mall. A mom of two boys says, “I think it’s cool, we were just driving by and like, free admission, why not?” And 11-year-old Zack Weilage says, “Animals are amazing!”

There are tigers, there are camels, there are lemurs and there is a USDA inspection report from March. It levels two concerns, first: a 16-week-old “highly active” tiger cub used for pictures with the public. “‘Too rambunctious’ is actually what she (the inspector) said,” says the zoo owner Robert Engesser.

The inspector noted her concern that the cub couldn’t be controlled in a way that would keep him and the public safe. Engesser replaced the cub with a nine and a half week old lion.

The other issue: a capuchin monkey. The report lists hair loss and tail biting; signs of psychological distress. The zoo had not documented the steps it was taking to address the monkey’s neurotic behavior, often caused by a lack of interaction. The report says her mate died two months ago. Engesser says, “There’s quite a bit of interaction.”

Engesser has owned the traveling zoo for about 13 years. He appealed the March inspection, was denied, and says he will appeal again. He says, “I don’t feel in that situation they were correct, but they’re entitled to their opinion just like I am mine.”

Engesser says he has 30 big cats at his permanent facility in Florida. He rotates which ones are on tour. The two-year -old female tiger currently with him will stay inside her cage for four weeks before returning to Florida.

“It seems fun and it seems great for the kids, but in reality, it’s not, especially not for the poor animals in there,” says Monroe resident Felicia Kiker. She didn’t like what she saw at the petting zoo. “The animals are all in little cages, animals which are supposed to be in the wild,” says Kiker.

Engesser expects between five and six thousand visitors through the weekend. He insists all of the animals are well taken care of and that public safety is his priority. He says, “If we feel it’s a danger to the animal as well as the public, we’re not gonna use it.”

The USDA has inspected the zoo eight times in the last three years. The March report is the only one with citations. Mall management wasn’t aware of the March inspection until FOX Charlotte brought it to their attention. They tell us, “Jungle Safari approached us about operating at Monroe Crossing and we offered them the space free of charge because we knew it would be a great attraction for the community.”

Note: Thankfully the belief that such abuse is good for business is an outdated opinion.

 

Read More

Posted on Oct 6, 2018 in Abuse, Browse by Name, Fakers and Haters, Most Wanted | 2 comments

G.W. Exotics Animal Foundation Joe Schreibvogel

G.W. Exotics Animal Foundation Joe Schreibvogel

9/7/18 Joe Schreibvogel Maldonado-Passage, aka “Joe Exotic,” was arrested after being indicted by a Federal Grand Jury on two counts of “murder for hire” for seeking to hire someone to murder Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue.   Read more at https://bigcatrescue.org/joe-exotic-arrested-murder-hire/

JOE SCHREIBVOGEL

JOE “EXOTIC”

AKA JOSEPH MALDONADO

AKA JOSEPH MALDONADO-PASSAGE

If Joe Schreibvogel Maldonado has contacted you with slanderous allegations against Big Cat Rescue, check out this million dollar settlement Joe Schreibvogel consented to in favor of Big Cat Rescue.

Researched and written by Howard Baskin JD, MBA, Advisory Board Chairman of Big Cat Rescue

Joe Schreibvogel says that he and his parents started G.W. Exotic Memorial Animal Park in memory of a brother who loved animals.

On December 10, 2010 Joe wrote on Facebook

“…another employee quit today without so much as a phone call.  …all I get is a text message that reads… My brother (g.w.) would be ashamed of what I have become”

If Joe’s brother was indeed a lover of animals, this is likely to be an understatement.

As detailed below, Joe has become one of the most notorious breeders and exploiters of tiger cubs in the world.

 

DECEPTION

Below you will read about how Joe treats tiger cubs and some of his deceptions. One telling example of his dishonesty that is not cat related is his claim to be a country western singer. It is hard to imagine how anyone who hears his nasal speaking voice could believe that the voice on hi music videos is really his.  But the people he has duped into believing his nonsense seem to.  In actual fact, informant information indicates he has paid singers/songwriters Vince Johnson and/or Danny Clinton to sing some if not all of the songs.  Then Joe makes a video lip syncing the song and claims it is him singing.

You can hear his speaking voice on his Facebook page.

Originally we had a link here to one of his songs. But after we revealed how he had misled everyone, including his own followers, he took down most of his music videos from YouTube and in one of his Facebook video rants basically admitted his deceit by saying “who cares” as if it does not matter that he lied to everyone for years. It matters because it shows his true character, or lack thereof, and apparent desperate need for attention, in our view.

Joe pretended to sing this song:

Click here for songs by The Vince Johnson Band to compare the voice.

If Joe lies about this, duping his own friends and followers, how can one believe anything he says?

ABUSE OF TIGER CUBS

 

Feds Cite Big-Cat Exhibitor Over Transport of Infant Tiger Cub 

Joe Schreibvogel operates a roadside zoo in Oklahoma with 1400 animals, including over 150 tigers, on sixteen acres, that has a history of serious animal abuse (see below).  He generates revenue by constantly breeding tiger cubs, ripping them from their mothers shortly after birth, and abusing them by carting them around from mall to mall charging people to pet them alongside a magic show he performs.  USDA rules prohibit using the cubs for this purpose after they reach 12 weeks old.  When he can no longer use them to make money, he “donates” (or by some reports sells) them, or brings to his zoo.  In most cases these animals will at best spend their entire lives in small, prison-like cells.  Current USDA regulations permit keeping an adult tiger in a cage smaller than a parking spot. Many of his cats are sent to places with a history of animal abuse violations.

What is life like for these poor cubs dragged around from mall to mall for the early weeks of their lives?  Videos of the mall exhibit reveal what they endure.

In the video below, you can see that the cub has diarrhea.  Witnesses report this was true of at least three of the cubs.  Instead of taking the cubs off display, the attendant follows the cub with a rag.  First Beth Corley wipes the floor, then she wipes the cub’s bottom with the same rag.  The cub’s bottom is likely raw and sore from the diarrhea.  You can hear the cub scream.  You can see the video under “Sick Cubs at Mall” below.

Malls who allow Joe to exhibit are supporting this abuse.  If venues would not allow acts like this, the breeding and suffering would stop.  Fortunately, more and more responsible venues are making the right decision.  For instance, after a cub display at one of their stores, Petsmart recently issued a policy that there would be no exotic animal displays at their U.S. and Canada stores.  In doing so they showed that they truly care about animals.

Joe claims that he has to breed cubs and take them out on the traveling show in order to support the animals at his zoo.   He acknowledges that this is wrong when he says in a Facebook post that he does not want to do this but is “forced to” in order to make money to support the animals at the zoo.  Joe is only forced to do this as a result of his own bad decisions and lack of caring for animals.

Joe’s latest argument to justify his rampant breeding (which he calls “selective”) is that he is doing a public service because by supplying a cub to every zoo and exhibitor who wants a tiger, he is putting out of business the “back yard breeders.”  This is a little bit like John Dillinger claiming he was doing public service by putting other bank robbers out of business because he had robbed all the banks.  It does not matter who is breeding tigers to make money from cubs and then discarding them to a life of misery.  It is just wrong.

The fact is that real sanctuaries all around the country are able to support their rescue and animal care work without adding to the problem by breeding and without abusing animals to make money.  They do that by operating facilities that have excellent animal care that donors appreciate and want to support.  They also do that by being financially responsible and not taking in more animals than they can support.

The fact that true sanctuaries all of over the country do support their animals without tormenting innocent cubs proves that it can be done.  If Joe cannot do the right thing for the animals, he should not be collecting them. If real sanctuaries around the county are capable of doing this, why can’t Joe?

Joe’s website says his zoo was started in 1999 as a way to honor his deceased brother, who reportedly loved animals.  Joe could have done exactly that.  He could have built a real sanctuary by taking in animals and giving them the kind of care that would have touched the hearts of donors who would have supported him like other real sanctuaries have done.  He says on his website that in 2005 he “grew away from the word ‘Sanctuary’ … because everyone wanted to dictate how you run a business as a sanctuary, but no one wanted to help pay the bills.”

Regarding having others “dictate”, yes, to be a real sanctuary, you have to meet certain standards of animal care. The animal abuse documented in USDA violations from 2000 to 2015, discussed below, shows he never was a sanctuary.  He could have invested time in learning the skills needed to run a true sanctuary, including how to run the financial side of a nonprofit.  He could have built a place that would have been a true tribute to a deceased animal lover.  He did not.

Young Children Bitten at GW Park

Before going into the details about Joe’s exploitation and lies, below are three videos taken in September 2011 by visitors to GW Park.  According to a USDA Fact Sheet, cubs under 8 weeks old should not be petted because their immune systems have not sufficiently developed to prevent disease.  Separately, USDA guidance forbids petting cubs over 12 weeks of age because they are dangerous.  (See 2010 in the Palazzo case upholding USDA position established in 2004).

In these three short videos you see GWPark employees blatantly violating these USDA policies and endangering the cubs and the public.  In the videos the handlers acknowledge that the cubs are 14, 15, 16, 19 or 20 weeks old.  In one video you hear the handlers laughing about a child being bitten by one of the overage cubs and being taken in to see under age cubs to appease the family.  Remarkably, just one week later, with a handler lying by saying “we have never had an incident,”  the video shows a young child jumped on and bitten by a 20 week old cub.  After that, even though in both videos the handlers talk about the smaller cubs having weak immune systems which makes public contact dangerous for them, the park manager brings out a tiny two week old cub to appease the crowd.  He allows two and three people to grope at the cub at a time.  He only stops when the poor cub, who is so young that its eyes are not even open yet, starts squealing loudly and desperately tries to climb away to avoid the petting.

As a practical matter, USDA inspectors are never going to see the animals mistreated or see animals that are too young or too old being used this way.  The inspectors do not do undercover work, they announce themselves on arrival.  An individual who worked at GW Park tells us that when the inspector arrives, someone at the park announces “USDA on the property” and some individuals are assigned to delay the inspectors while others run around filling water bowls and stop any behavior that could result in citation.  As you watch the tiny cub squealing in discomfort and fear in the third video, knowing that each of the hands you see groping at him is a threat to his infant weak immune system, and as you hear the handlers in the first video chuckle about a child being bitten, and as you see Schreibvogel in the video at the top of this page strike a tiny cub with a pole and say “just pop ’em in the ass,” ask yourself if you think Joe Schreibvogel is someone who loves animals.  Does someone who loves animals torment tiny cubs to make money?   And if you are a venue that permits his traveling exhibit to set up in your mall or fair, aside from the potential liability, is this kind of treatment of animals what you want to support?

Underage Cubs Used to Appease Crowd After Child Bitten

Sick Cubs at Mall

 Joe Schreibvogel Exposed by Inside Edition

HISTORY OF ANIMAL ABUSE

 

USDA VIOLATIONS

 

Instead of creating a sanctuary, Joe created a facility that in its early years, 2000 – 2004, was cited repeatedly by USDA for serious violations of the minimum standards of the Animal Welfare Act.  USDA has limited enforcement resources.  They can only take a few animal abusers to court, so they reserve that for only the most blatant cases.  Typically they will issue citations for years, giving the licensee every opportunity to correct the out of compliance conditions before they consider filing a lawsuit. After years of citations they finally sued Joe.  In April 2005 the agency filed a 20-page complaint against Joe with numerous charges, including the following:

* Failure to provide adequate veterinary care
* Failure to handle animals so that there was minimal risk of harm to the animal and to the public
* An incident in which a tiger escaped from his enclosure and attacked and seriously wounded a camel
* Transportation of 15 tigers and lions in a manner that allowed urine, feces, or both to contaminate the animals caged below
* Lack of potable water for 18 lions, 23 tigers, 15 bears, 20 cougars, three leopards, and a pig
* Lack of employees present to provide care to 80 large, dangerous cats
* Lack of knowledge by employees about how often the animals were fed
* Filthy, wet, unsafe, and dilapidated enclosures
* Failure to handle animals in a manner that does not cause trauma, behavioral stress, physical harm, or unnecessary discomfort
* Failure to provide animals with minimum space
* Exposed live, bare wires in tiger nursery play area

 

In July 25, 2017 USDA licensees (We believe Beth Corley is just another alias for Joe because she hasn’t been reported at this facility since about 2011) at this facility were cited for failure to keep accurate acquisition and disposal records on the animals, including a lack of reporting who and where animals came from or went, and failure to keep an accurate census.  Read the USDA violation.

On May 15, 2017 a tiger escaped her enclosure and was noticed wandering the grounds at feeding time.  The tiger was reportedly shot to death by Joe.  Read the USDA violation.

On October 19, 2016 licensees were cited for injury to a tiger due to feeding a large group of tigers in a single pen by throwing meat into the frenzy.  They were also cited for rancid meat left to rot on top of the shade stands from the same practice.  Reach the USDA violation.

On May 19, 2016 licensees were cited for failing to throw out medication that was two years passed the expiry date.  A live mouse was seen on the floor of the lemur cage and a half eaten mouse was in the capuchin cage in the medical building.  The report states there is no professional vermin control measure in practice.  Instead they said they put out poison…poison that could be consumed by the rats and then by the primates. Read the USDA violations.

On February 1, 2016 Joe Maldonado was cited for failure to provide sufficient barriers between the public and adult lions and tigers. He was also cited for rusting metal panels in the baboon enclosure that had sharp edges around the hole that could harm the primates.  Read his USDA violations.

On the same day, Feb. 1, 2016 Beth Corley (We believe Beth Corley is just another alias for Joe because she hasn’t been reported at this facility since about 2011) was blamed for not including 14 tigers in the census that came from Serenity Springs on 12/18/15.  Read that USDA violation.

In November 2015 Schreibvogel / Maldonado was cited for dangerous conditions for his cubs who were being raised in a room with “live, bare electrical wires” and glass window panes within reach of the cubs that could provide both injury or a way of escape.  He was also cited for improper handling of food for the animals.  Records indicate 99 tigers at this time.  Read the USDA violation.

In August 2015 Schreibvogel / Maldonado was cited for displaying a 19 day old liger cub at the Mississippi State Fair. Read the USDA violation.

In July 2015 Schreibvogel / Maldonado was cited for fly infestation, filthy food bowls, inadequate methods of temperature control for primates, unsafe fencing and more. Read the USDA violations.

In March 2015 Schreibvogel / Maldonado was cited for a “trail of rodent droppings” on the rails between cages, food stored on the floors, dirty food receptacles, rotting meat on top of the cages, where keepers had apparently tried to throw it into the cages and failed, a decomposing rat that was intended as food, no shade for a tiger named Batista and more. Read the USDA violations.

In August 2014 Schreibvogel was cited for standing water, food and waste in an open ditch next to the primates, described by the inspector as “an open sewer,” unsafe caging, “numerous wasps” in the primate shed, tigers being kept in a cage where the gate hinge had “rusted through”, “significant” rust in a support pole, no water and no water bowls in the grizzly cage, rancid meat on the floor of the tiger cage that was covered in maggots, numerous ants and food stuck in the feed chutes that was covered in ants. At this time records show 100 tigers.  Twenty one more tigers than just 5 months ago.   Read the USDA violations.

In April 2014 Schreibvogel was cited because a bear, named Crybaby, had been injured on April 2, resulting in a 4-8 inch long laceration.  The vet was said to have stitched up the bear, but the wound was reopened 3 days later.  Apparently Joe re stitched the bear, without the vet, but on April 14 workers reported that the wound was open.  The vet came on April 15 and euthanized the bear.  He was cited for failing to have the vet care for the injured bear between April 5 and April 15.

In March 2014 Schreibvogel was cited for inadequate vet care, rusty cages with sharp, protruding edges, a missing plank in the tiger’s walkway and exposed screw.  At this time Joe claimed to own 79 tigers, which is 15 fewer tigers than this same time last year.  Read the USDA violations.

In March 2013 Schreibvogel was cited for fencing and a gate that was leaning and sagging and could provide a means of escape, a broken roof in a tiger’s enclosure, inadequate shade.  At this time records indicated 94 tigers. Read the USDA violations.

In January 2006 Schreibvogel consented to a $25,000 fine and a probation period. Based on inspections since, hopefully conditions have improved.  But, for over five years before USDA forced changes, the animals Joe “rescued” were subjected to the horrible conditions USDA cited.

In September 2009 USDA issued a warning notice for alleged violations of the AWA handling requirements stemming from separate incidents that occurred in 2007 and 2008, one involving a customer injured by a lion cub.

On September 13, 2011 Schreibvogel was cited by USDA for failing to provide veterinary care to two animals.

On December 1, 2011 Schreibvogel was cited by USDA for improper handling related to an incident in September 2011 at GW Park where young boy was injured by a tiger cub.

23 CUBS DIED AT GW PARK

Schreibvogel is currently under investigation by USDA for the deaths of 23 tiger cubs and separately for other possible violations of the AWA.  The cubs died between April 2009 and May 2010 according to what Joe’s people reported to the FDA.  Any responsible facility would have done necropsies on the  initial deaths.  Joe finally did necropsies on one or two of the last cubs to die and called in FDA to test the formula.  The necropsies indicated curdled milk formula in the stomachs of the cubs.  So, Joe insists that the cubs were killed by “bad formula.”  But, the FDA testing of the samples Joe provided and of samples from the manufacturer found nothing wrong with the formula.  This formula must be stored, handled, mixed and administered properly.  Since FDA found nothing wrong with the formula itself, if the cubs did die from the formula, the most logical conclusion is that it was because Joe’s staff did not do one or more of these activities properly.

 

PETA INVESTIGATION

 

Between February and June 2006, a PETA investigator working at GW Exotics kept a log documenting a pattern of abuse.  These included animals seriously injured from fighting, food dishes teeming with maggots, hungry animals who went without food, animals who were abused and beaten by staff.  For instance, here are two examples from http://www.peta.org/features/gw-the-animals.aspx:

 

JULIE, THE THREE-LEGGED LION

On his first day on the job, PETA’s investigator met Julie, a three-legged lioness, who had a bloody, raw, and gaping hole where her right front leg used to be. Julie had been attacked by two tigers who literally chewed and tore her leg off and then ate it. The remaining stump of her leg had to be amputated and when she pulled out the stitches, Julie’s open wound went untreated.Though she moaned and whimpered for days, she was given nothing for pain. Julie languished in a small and barren indoor cage on a concrete floor with nothing more than a small towel for comfort. Although she was bred and born at the zoo, [J1] tells people that he “rescued” Julie and that she was injured before coming to the zoo.

 

‘THE VEGAS TIGERS’

GW’s Holiday 2005 newsletter reported that the Fercos Bros., a Siegfried & Roy wannabe magic act in Las Vegas, gave the park two male tigers who had “outgrown” the stage. Two days after PETA’s investigator started working at the park, the “Vegas tigers,” as they were called, were killed by lethal injection because staff decided they were “mean.”

Reportedly, the tigers’ teeth were cut out, and one was decapitated and his head given to the veterinarian’s husband to be mounted. When the Fercos came to visit the tigers in June, they were told that the cats were killed when lightning struck their cage during a storm.

Below is a video by the investigator showing a dying horse left suffering, workers beating animals with tools, and a worker explaining how they forge the feeding log to say animals were fed that were not because USDA had no way to prove otherwise.

According to one report “PETA activists took their recordings to law enforcement, but no charges were filed after authorities said no criminal activity occurred in the videos they viewed. Federal agents inspected the park twice after the videos were released and found no violations. Schreibvogel claimed the PETA videos took out of context what was going on, but did admit he had fired four of the employees featured in the investigation.” Although authorities decided not to file criminal charges, it is hard to imagine the behavior in this video not being animal abuse no matter what the “context.”

For more on PeTA’s investigation visit http://www.peta.org/features/gw.aspx

 

IS JOE AN ANIMAL LOVER?

Allowing animals to suffer horrible conditions for years until USDA forced him to correct them clearly contradicts Joe’s claim to be a lover of animals. His current argument that he should be allowed to abuse cubs and subject a steady stream of them to lifelong misery in order to support those he has collected raises further doubts. He accepts animals from places known for animal abuse without regard for the fact that these places continue to operate and abuse more animals. Is that a rescuer, or someone just building the “world’s largest” big cat zoo to satisfy his ego?

 

IS JOE A PERSON OF CHARACTER AND PROFESSIONALISM?

 

To get an insight into Joe’s character, let’s look at a few examples of his behavior.

Photos of PETA and BCR effigies being killed. One of his responses to criticism from PETA and BIG CAT RESCUE was to post photos on his Facebook page showing figures labeled PETA and BCR with guns to their heads, hangman’s nooses around their necks, and a bow and arrow pointed at them.

If you are a manager of a mall reading this, is this the kind of person you want to be associated with?

Photo shooting polar bear cub. One mall executive found out how professional Joe is when his company decided they did not want to be associated with Joe’s abuse. Joe, using one of his “stage names” Aarron Alex, accused the management company online of “supporting the killing of animals” and posted a photo with his proposed boycott of their properties showing a polar bear plush toy with a handgun to its head and the title “If Mama Don’t Want It Don’t Nobody Want It.”

If you were a mall owner or manager, is this the kind of vendor you want?

Registering URLs in Name of Dead Person. Another rather bizarre behavior is that in recent years Joe has been in the habit of registering new internet URL’s using the name Brian Rhyne, who the GW website said died in 2001. What kind of person uses a dead man’s name to register their websites? Recently Joe has been changing some of these, perhaps as a result of this strange behavior being commented upon online.

Crude, sexually oriented comments and lies.  Joe and a small band of cronies, most of whom are people who support subjecting exotic animals to the unsuitable condition of being pets, constantly post blatant lies, sometimes sexually oriented, about his critics.  Some of the Facebook identities making these comments are fake identities set up by Joe or this group.  For instance, it is hard to imagine that his Facebook supporter “Carole Backsins” is anything more than a shallow and childish alteration of the name of Carole Baskin of Big Cat Rescue.

 

JOE’S MULTIPLE COMPANY NAMES AND PERSONAL NAMES

 

Joe Schreibvogel Maldonado-Passage is or has also known individually as:

 

 Joe Exotic

Aarron Alex

Cody Ryan

 

And doing business as:

 

5 Continent Productions

Garold Wayne Interactive Zoo

G.W. Exotic Animal Foundation

G.W. Exotic Animal Park

G.W. Exotic Memorial Animal Foundation

G.W. Exotic Memorial Animal Park

Alex Productions

Awakening Productions

Awakening Rescue

Big Cat Rescue Entertainment Group

Corley’s Exotics

Mystical Magic of the Endangered

Tigers in Need

Welch’s Entertainment Group

Welch’s Tiger Experience

Welch’s Great Cat Adventure

World Magic

and others.

What about all those company names listed above? One of the most basic principles in marketing is to develop a consistent brand image. The problem for Joe is that his brand is tainted by his animal abuse, so he keeps making up new names. He really went to town in 2010 adding at least four of the names listed above.

He says he uses different names to avoid the “animal activists.” Joe is not fooling any of the people who fight to protect animals and want him to stop abusing the cubs. They find him no matter what entity name he uses. The only people he can fool this way are the members of the public. One individual, Aaron Wissner, whose posts indicate he simply was concerned at what he saw at a mall and wanted to find out who “Tigers in Need” was, spent what had to be hours researching. Some of his information came from prior versions of this page, but much he obtained elsewhere. A URL to his research appears at the bottom of this page.

Joe’s Names. In addition to using his own name, Joe has performed his magic act using Joe Exotic, Aarron Alex, and Cody Ryan. Cody Ryan frequently performs as a duo with a man named Aaron Stone. Joe posts disparaging remarks about his critics under both his own name and Aarron Alex, and Aaron Stone has shown up with similar comments as a “volunteer” on at least one post.

Joe’s Accomplices. Joe has two accomplices in the subterfuge of his entity “name game.” One is Beth Corley. Joe has one USDA license. Beth Corley has her own license, registered at the same address as Joe’s, i.e. the G.W. Animal Park address. The other accomplice is Vicky Welch, spelled with a “y” in news reports, but with an “i” when Joe uses her name to register URL’s for the new names he makes up for the magic act and cub display. She travels with the show and has been referred to in the press as “road manager and animal caretaker” for Awakening Productions.

Are they all interconnected? It would take too long to give details on each here. We have built an excel spreadsheet sorting out his maze. Some names are registered as Trade Names of G.W. Exotics. Others are separate corporations. And still others are not registered at all with the Oklahoma Secretary of State nor show up on the IRS.gov site as nonprofits even though they claim to be.

Just for example, let’s look at one person and one entity.

Beth Corley. As mentioned, Beth has a USDA license registered at Joe’s address. Beth is referred to in an online news story posted by Joe as “Director” of Big Cat Rescue Entertainment. She is referred to by a reporter for The Herald Bulletin in Anderson, IN as “Beth Corley, a worker with Big Cat Rescue” (failing to include the “Entertainment”). A report in The Telegraph on the exhibit at the Alton Square Mall in Alton, IL in July 2010 refers to “Beth Corley, co-founder of Welch’s Entertainment.” The Fremont Tribune from Fremont, NE on 1-28-10 refers to “Corley’s Exotics, run by Beth Corley of G.W. Exotic Animal Park.”

Tigers In Need. Now, let’s take one entity, or one name since it does not actually appear to be an entity, “Tigers In Need”. As of this writing, we could not find it registered as a Trade Name nor as a separate Corporation, so it appears to be just a made up name. One advantage, assuming that is intentional, is that it is difficult to know who “owns” it. Below is a list of some of the ways in which Tiger In Need is connected to the other entities and accomplice names:

1) The URL tigersinneed.org was registered 1/30/10. Before 7/29/10 the WHOIS report showed Registrant Name was “Tigers in need” and Registrant Email was Joe_Exotic@Yahoo.com. On 7-29-10 the registration was changed to show Registrant Name as Vicki Welch and Registrant Email left blank.

2) The tigersinneed.org website has a description that clearly is GW Park. It refers to being started in 1999 in Southern Oklahoma and having over 150 big cats. It says “Please note that we are a non-profit organization and are not affiliated with any other company”, when it clearly is the same facility as the GW Exotic zoo.

3) The “Contact Us” link at tigersinneed.org brings up “Florida Office 813-361-9611”, the same phone being used by Big Cat Rescue Entertainment.

4) The “Guestbook” link at tigersinneed.org contains comments from visitors to the Alton Mall in July. The Alton, IL newspaper, The Telegraph, reporting on the show at the mall, refers to the cats being “just a few of the 150 or so from the Tigers In Need refuge in Wynnewood, Okla. Welch’s Entertainment holds the tours…to raise money for Tigers In Need.” It quotes “Beth Corley, co-founder of Welch’s Entertainment.”

5) The Davis County Clipper 7-27-10 in Bountiful, UT refers to Welch’s Tiger Experience also being called Tigers in Need.

6) An event notice on the East Town Mall website was titled Tigers in Need formally (sic – formerly) Awakening Productions.

What kind of person creates a maze of entities like this, and for what legitimate purpose?

 

JOE’S FALSEHOODS

 

Joe and his employee Bobbi Corona have a total disregard for the truth that is remarkable. He says and writes whatever nonsense he decides to make up. PeTA identified statements about his breeding and selling that they show to be false at http://www.peta.org/features/gw-exotic-animal-trade.aspx

Here are some examples where Joe misleads or issues totally false statements:

Tigers In Need Nonprofit and Not Affiliated. His many names and entities and the deception that they foist on the public are discussed above. A number of his entities, like Tigers In Need, have claimed on their websites, literature and press reports to be “nonprofit.” They do not show up as registered trade names of a nonprofit, nor on the IRS site under their own names. G.W. Exotic Animal Park is a nonprofit, so maybe Joe thinks that any name he wants to call it by becomes a nonprofit, even when he is denying that the name is associated with GW. The other deception is the idea that these are not related. Tigers In Need, which clearly is just another name for the GW Animal Park, has on its website at this writing “we… are not affiliated with any other company”, an obviously false statement.  Then, in his depositions in our lawsuit, he did an about face and says that G.W. Exotic Animal Park, Tigers in Need and Big Cat Rescue Entertainment are all the same.  He claims he never intended to file Big Cat Rescue Entertainment as a separate company, it should have been a d/b/a.  This is in spite of the fact that he first registered it as a d/b/a, then redrew that registration and filed it as a separate corporation.

Howard Baskin cub display video. Howard Baskin, husband of Carole Baskin from Big Cat Rescue, went undercover at a tiger cub exhibit to get video showing the cubs’ distress and the exhibitor’s lies. He then made a video explaining in detail why these exhibits are abusive and provided details about the particular exhibitor involved and the poor conditions at her facility. The video included the video clip at the top of this page showing Joe’s cubs with diarrhea. You can see the 6 minute video at http://www.bigcatrescue.org/

What did Joe do? He issued a “press release” on PRLog claiming that Carole does not know that “her husband has been going behind her back to either pet or play with a baby tiger cub.” He quoted the owner of the exhibit, someone who says Joe “donated” a cub to her, as saying “Maybe this is how he gets his kicks since he cant (sic) get them at home…” So, Joe, Howard Baskin goes behind his wife’s back to pet tiger cubs, then makes a video and has her post it on the Big Cat Rescue website. Pretty darn sneaky of him. Surely she will never know. Does a truthful person of character post a press release like this?

Joe claims he is no longer the one displaying the cubs. This one is a gem. Joe recently started saying that people concerned about the abuse in the cub exhibit should leave him alone and are lying if they associate him with it because the cub exhibit is under the USDA license of another person. In a Facebook post 11/4/10 Joe says “I DON’T USE CUBS (his caps) anylonger (sic), all I do is Magic shows.”

Let’s think about that one. The USDA licensee is now not Joe. It is Beth Corley. But her license is registered at the same address as his and she has historically travelled with the show. Her connections to his various entities are detailed above. The proceeds of the show are still advertised as going to Tigers In Need, basically just another made up name for Joe’s GW Exotics Animal Park as shown above. So the show still benefits Joe’s zoo. But since the cubs are technically registered under his co-worker’s license Joe has nothing to do with the cubs show? Sure, Joe.

Breeding “A Select Few”. Joe says he breeds “a select few.” Were the 23 cubs that died mid 2010 a select few? He is constantly breeding to supply his road show. He can be heard in the PeTA video yelling at the cats to breed because he needed cubs for the road show.

Laws restricting private ownership cause abandonment. The GW Exotic website “About” page claims the laws banning private exotic animal ownership are the cause of the abandonment of exotics that Joe has to rescue. This is utter nonsense. New bans typically grandfather in private owners. But more importantly, it is private ownership that causes the abandonment. If private ownership were banned nationwide, which it should be like it is in many states and many other nations, there would be NO abandonment because no private owners would have them!

The steady increase in legislation banning private ownership represents recognition by our society that private ownership leads to massive abuse. Social values evolve. It took decades to ban slavery in England and for women to win the right to vote in America. Those ideas started out as “radical”, held by a small minority. Gradually more and more people understood and agreed until they became a part of our value system that we take for granted today. The same trend is happening with private ownership of exotics. Gradually more and more people are realizing that this simply leads to widespread abuse of these animals. The best evidence of this is the accelerating trend in state laws. Just since 2005 eight more states have passed some level of ban.

GW Exotic is “Accredited”. Joe says he is “accredited”.  He is accredited by United States Zoological Association. Tis is an organization Joe himself created in August 2008. The Registered Agent for USZA in the Oklahoma Secretary of State records is Joe Schreibogel.  When he set up the USZA.us website, he used his email address, but listed the Registered Agent as Brian Rhyne, a man who Joe’s own website said died in 2001.  In one fax Joe claims USZA has “nearly 2 million supporters,” another blatant lie.

What kind of organization is it? The USZA website has a page where people can list exotic animals they want to give away, sell or buy. On 11/7/10 the section listing cats for sale offered “baby white tigers” with the notation “great breed stock”. The sellers are only listed by a code. This code for this seller was “600 OK”. As in Oklahoma. Most likely Joe.

Joe refers to his park as a zoo.  The recognized accrediting body in the zoo industry is the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.  Joe is not accredited by AZA.  Being accredited implies having been reviewed by some independent organization and found to have met certain standards.   Forming your own entity to accredit yourself does not qualify as “accredited.”

People Magazine cover.  On his Facebook page for “Joe Exotic” Joe shows “Cody Ryan” ( aka Joe) and Aaron Stone on the cover of People Magazine for “September 2010”, giving the impression they were actually on that cover. They were not.

Joe is Police Chief. On Examiner.com Joe says he “is a former police chief of the Colony Tx…”.

The Colony website http://www.ci.the-colony.tx.us/Depts/pd/PoliceHistory.html contains the list of past and present police chiefs below. The policeman we spoke with by phone at The Colony police department advised that Joe Schreibvogel was never an officer there.

Since The Colony was formed, it has had 6 Chiefs of Police:
Jim Beltran August 1977 to May 1978
John Steinseck July 1978 to September 1979
Nick Ristagno Jan 1980 to April 1990
Ted Gibson December 1990 to February 1992
Bruce Stewart December 1992 to September 1995
Joe Clark April 1996 to Present

Other places Joe mentions being an officer, then Chief, of Eastvale, TX, a small town of about 500 people that years later merged into The Colony.

Disparagement of Big Cat Rescue. Joe has become almost obsessed with disparaging Carole Baskin and Big Cat Rescue. He set up a website for this purpose. The “About” section contains the obvious lie that the site is written by “a group of independent reporters.” Sure, Joe.

In March 2010 he visited Big Cat Rescue as a tour guest, took photos, then captioned them with ridiculous lies. In September 2010 he visited again, this time taking a video of the tour. He made nonsensical comments into the microphone during the tour, including childish insults about the hard working volunteers he saw, then added captions with false statements like he did with his photos. He then flew low over the sanctuary for an extended period of time in a helicopter stressing the cats (not the act of someone who loves animals.)

A few examples of his false statements:

1) He questions the guide’s reference to Big Cat Rescue being accredited with a caption asking by whom. As he knows, the accreditation is by the Global Federation of Sanctuaries whose board is composed of members to the largest animal protection organizations.

2) He claims Carole is getting rich from the sanctuary. Carole has worked for 17 years without any salary or other compensation. In fact she donated the land, some investment properties, and made substantial cash donations. After 9/11 when tourism stopped and donations diminished she was selling her car and personal household belongings to pay for food for the cats.

3) He makes sarcastic, ridiculous comments about cage sizes and cleanliness that anyone who visits would realize are total nonsense. For instance, he shows a small portion of a cage and presents it as the entire cage. Or, he shows a structure made of small logs we built just for the cat’s entertainment and claims it is the den and the cat does not have proper shelter, when in fact the real den is nearby and Joe knows it.

Joe, using his alias Aarron Alex, misused the Care2 Petition site to post his photos and start a petition. Martha Hoffman, a person who had visited Big Cat Rescue a number of times, took the time to write to Care2 documenting the false statements. The last sentence of her first paragraph pretty much says it all:

“I am writing in regard to the BCR sanctuary and the accusations lodged by Aarron Alex. My husband and I are residents of Florida, living on the east coast. We have on numerous occasions visited the BCR participating in the different tours offered. Therefore we have walked the premises at different hours and NEVER have we seen anything in the context of what Mr. Aarron Alex has presented. He purposely distorts every single picture.”

To read the full text of her post where she explains the distortions in detail click here.

Finally, one of Joe’s more absurd posts implies that USDA does not do anything about his bogus complaints because “word has it that she (Carole) has a USDA person living on her property.” Sure Joe – and do Elvis and Jimmy Hoffa share a house with the mysterious “USDA person?”

Joe clearly does not have the slightest concern about whether what he says or writes is true. He makes up whatever he thinks will serve his purpose. The strange part is that he makes statements that are so obviously and outrageously not true. He does not even TRY to keep within the bounds of something that would make sense and be believable, except perhaps to his exotic animal owner following.

 

LACK OF FINANCIAL TRANSPARENCY

 

Credible nonprofits display their financials to proudly show that they are good shepherds of their donors’ contributions. At this writing, none of Joe’s related entities have financial information on their websites. Some of the entities were formed too recently to have filed the required nonprofit IRS form 990, and the G.W. Exotics 990 for 2009 does not yet appear on Guidestar, so the only financial information available is GW Exotic’s 2008 Form 990.

For revenue, the 2008 Form 990 shows $501k in donations and $9k in sales of inventory. Expenses were $447k, with only $3k in salaries and only $48k in animal feed. If food was donated, it is supposed to be recorded as a “noncash” donation and included in the contribution number. So they spent $34/year per animal for food. This is not possible. And salaries of only $3k? Something does not add up. Meantime, Beth Corley is quoted in the press as saying it takes $60k/month to care for their 156 tigers, or $720k/year. They may have had fewer tigers in 2008, but what about the 1200+ other animals?

The 990 shows G.W. Exotic owning about $400k in Land, Buildings, and Equipment. But, this does not include the 16 acres the park sits on. According to county records, Joe owns that personally.

Joe says he displays the cubs to make money to support the park. He recently reported making a record $23,697 in five days. Imagine how many people had to handle these poor cubs in those five days to generate that. Think about how you would feel if that were a human baby. Is it really so much different for a tiger cub that at that age should be spending long hours sleeping just like a human baby?

 

COMMENTS AND RESEARCH BY OTHERS

 

Others have either done homework on Joe or posted comments that provide additional information.

PeTA. PeTA’s webite is referenced above. It mentions documents in which Joe has made false statements. It also provides a list of the other disreputable exotic animal breeders, exhibitors, etc. with whom Joe deals in his rescuing and placing of animals. See http://www.peta.org/features/gw.aspx  Joe repeatedly refers to this undercover work as “faked” or a “frame job,” which is absolutely absurd.

 

CONCLUSION

 

Joe Schreibvogel is one of the best examples in the nation of why private ownership of big cats should be banned. He has a history of abuse, breeds big cats adding to the number that live a miserable life in small cages, breeds and takes in more than he can financially support, and justifies the current abuse by saying he needs to do it to make money to support the other animals. He shows himself to be totally devoid of integrity and professionalism with his inappropriate photos depicting violence against his critics and by constantly posting material online that he knows is devoid of any semblance of truth.

Venues who host exhibits like this and the public who “pay to play” don’t know what goes on behind the scenes. We hope the information on this page helps. The best way to stop this form of abuse is to have venues and the public understand what really happens to these animals and choose not to support the misery Joe and those like him create.

Joe prefers to be a zoo rather than a sanctuary. Two individuals who say they know Joe say he has told them his goal is to be the “world’s largest” animal facility. But he could make a different choice. If Joe took all the time he spends online ranting untruths about those who object to his abuse of these cubs and devoted it to trying to learn the skills necessary to operate a real sanctuary, and if he focused on having a number of animals that he could reasonably support instead of being “the world’s largest”, he might be able to support his animals without having to abuse some to do it. No one who runs a real sanctuary will tell you it is easy, and Joe might not be able to do it. But that is not a reason to let him continue to breed and abuse generation after generation of innocent cubs.

 

PAGES REFERRED TO ABOVE

Marsha Hoffman letter to Care2 re Aarron Alex Petition disparaging Big Cat Rescue

TO: Care2

I am writing in regard to the BCR sanctuary and the accusations lodged by Aarron Alex.My husband and I are residents of Florida, living on the east coast. We have on numerous occasions visited the BCR participating in the different tours offered. Therefore we have walked the premises at different hours and NEVER have we seen anything in the context of what Mr. Aarron Alex has presented. He purposely distorts every single picture.

First, I would like to address the various tours / money making claim. To the credit of the BCR their tours are considerably smaller than those of other sanctuaries we have visited. Total number of people for day tours is 20 people. This is done so as not to upset the animals. The price of their tours are very much in line with other sanctuaries .. in some cases less. Public is NOT permitted to wander around outside of the tour as in other sanctuaries. While the tours do provide income, that money is used for the benefit of the inhabitants and the wonderful education provided by BCR in regard to exotic animals. I don’t understand this complaint. Seems to me they are just reaching for something that isn’t there to try to discredit this sanctuary especially because they charge for their zoo. BCR, like every other sanctuary, need income to provide for the care of the animals. He complains that Carole Baskin did not do the tour – as they are done by volunteers. Ms. Baskin has a sanctuary to run that is why she has volunteers do the tours.

Further Ms.Baskin’s only concern/interest is that of the welfare of the animals. The BCR is a true sanctuary. Animals are not exploited, do not do tricks, are not handled by the public etc .. which is in complete contrast to the “sanctuary” zoo Mr. Aarron Alex is associated with. See -http://www.gwpark.org/ – BCR on the other hand, is a quiet, peaceful place for animals to live out their lives as close to their natural habitats as possible.

As far as the pictures go I am appalled at the distortions. Pictures were taken of the animals close up and do not show full enclosures. Yes, several of the enclosures are round, but what Alex neglected to say is how large they are .. ranging from actually one full acre to smaller ones for smaller cats. Pictures of cats resting on rocks, or sitting in a hut/cave are close ups and do not show the background.

Examples of distortion and lies ..

1 – Cat sitting in small cage with water dish … This is the feeding cage. Every animal has it’s own cage to go to when their food is distributed. As a matter of fact, if one is at the BCR a half hour or so, before feeding, due to the schedule one would see animals sitting patiently in their feeding cage waiting for the feeding. Animals are given any necessary medications and carefully observed while in these small cages. Also it is at this time that keepers clean out the enclosures.

2 – Wild feral cats roaming around. This is absolutely not true. The domestic cats are all friendly felines who come up to people during tours for belly rubs, ears to be scratched and the treats the various volunteers/staff carry with them. I have never seen a feral cat in the area. If you look at the cat Alex has taken a picture of, you will see a very healthy animal, well groomed and certainly well fed. All domestic cats are taken for their shots and cared for/loved every bit as well as the big cats.

3 – Dead trees …. each year different organizations/stores donate unsold Christmas trees – this is simply to add variety to the enclosures and make them more jungle like. These trees bring new smells for the animals and offer something new to investigate.

4 – Poop in enclosures. We have never ever seen unclean enclosures. The staff is constantly cleaning and maintaining the enclosures. Again a factor for the small feeding cages. These cages lock while the animal is feeding and gives the staff ample time to maintain healthy clean enclosures. See point #1.

5 – There is a picture of a tiger lying by the side of the enclosure, but if you look closely, you will see green grass in the background and a pond. This is the “round” enclosure Alex speaks about ………however, he neglects to say it is one acre in size and has a pond for the tigers to swim in.

6 – Black big cat on a rock …. this is where the animal goes to sun himself – the entire rest of the enclosure is conveniently cut out of the picture. There are trees to climb, grass to roll in and a den to hide in ……..not in the picture though.

7 – He portrays huts/dens as horrible small caves where the animals huddle in. These dens or huts are usually in the middle of an enclosure and true to natural habitats of cats where they sleep, have their cubs and spend a good deal of their time. Once again he has conveniently eliminated the large area that house these huts/dens.

8 – There is a tiger lying down on it’s back, with all four legs in the air and belly exposed. What Alex evidently does not understand is that cats, wild or domestic will only take this position if they are truly secure and content. This position makes a cat very vulnerable to attack from a predator. Obviously this tiger is full of trust and totally comfortable in its surroundings.

9 – Three legged Serval. Desiree was rescued from the side of a road in AZ that way. Aarron Alex tries to make the reader believe that this happened to the Serval while it was at BCR ……..a bold faced lie!

I would like to invite you to visit http://www.bigcatrescue.org/videos and view the various videos they have about their sanctuary. You will see how it disputes everything presented by this man. Then go to …http://www.911animalabuse.com/00abusers/GWExotics.htm. Quite a contrast. In Aarron Alex’s write up which accompanies the petition he has the audacity to accuse the BCR of exploiting animals for money when his so called “sanctuary” does exactly that. BCR is not a show place – instead it is a true sanctuary for animals to live out their lives in dignity and peace. Enclosures are not done in glittering, elaborate circus like manner – instead they are done in a calm, tranquil, soothing way to exemplify the natural habitat of each animal.

I respectfully request that you remove this petition due to the untruths, deceptions and blatant distortions. Mr. Aarron Alex obviously went to there for the sole purpose of causing trouble. He knew exactly what he was doing and wanted to accomplish. Please don’t be a party to this sort of dishonesty.

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Posted on Oct 4, 2018 in Abuse, Browse by Name | 0 comments

Lawrence Payne

Lawrence Payne Pleads Guilty To Unlawfully Importing Asian Leopard Cats

KANSAS CITY, KAN. – A Kansas man pleaded guilty Wednesday to unlawfully importing endangered leopard cats, U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said.

The leopard cat is a small wild cat native to Asia. It is considered as an endangered species under federal law.

Lawrence E. Payne, 34, Olathe, Kan., pleaded guilty to one count of violating the Endangered Species Act. The investigation began when Payne applied to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for a breeding license for Asian leopard cats. When investigators served a search warrant at Payne’s home, they found three Asian leopard cats. Payne admitted importing the animals.

Sentencing will be set for a later date. He faces a penalty of up to a year in jail and a fine up to $50,000. McAllister commended the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Oakley for their work on the case.

https://www.justice.gov/usao-ks/pr/olathe-man-pleads-guilty-unlawfully-importing-asian-leopard-cats

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Posted on Sep 28, 2018 in Abuse, Browse by Name | 0 comments

Nick the Wrangler

Nick the Wrangler

Tiger trouble?

Man accused of illegally buying Bengal cub for rapper Tyga

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Posted on Sep 23, 2018 in Abuse, Browse by Name | 0 comments

Alexa Ray Alahouzos AKA AlexaRayWild

Alexa Ray Alahouzos AKA AlexaRayWild

Alexa Ray Alahouzos

AKA AlexaRayWild

This is the first time we’ve heard about this person, and all of the info below was provided by Animal Frauds Exposed, who we do not know personally, but the evidence was pretty convincing, so I am posting it here and asking that if you have further evidence, one way or the other, that you let us know in the comments.  What I do know for sure is that people show off with wild animals on social sites because ignorant people shower them with attention for it.  State and federal agencies move so slowly, if at all, that it is almost never in time to save the animals from years of abuse.  The following is a quote from a letter to us dated 9/23/18:

“Alexa ray Alahouzos, also known as “Alexaraywild” on instagram is infamously known for asking for donations via internet for her “wildlife rescue,” Sunshine State Wildlife Sanctuary. Problem is, she has multiple FWC charges in two counties in Florida. In 2017 she  pleaded guilty to animal neglect, to keeping foxes in a storage unit. She says it was “only for one day,” but there can be seen many photos on her account showing the animals in that place. She paid the fine and the case was closed.

She is currently facing 9 FWC charges for improper permitting and refusing inspection of an undocumented facility. Maybe one day she will change her ways and be a good example of how to do things the right way. For many “animal lovers,” this is the case. They have the right heart but neglect the rules and reality. But please keep an eye on those who use social media and wildlife for popularity! RESEARCH before you donate! We hope this post raises awareness to private wildlife facilities that are registered, but are not exactly true or legitimate conservation. Save your money and spread awareness!”

All of her records can be publicly found in Palm Beach County Court and Broward Court searches with the name “Alexa Ray Alahouzos”

https://www.browardclerk.org/Web2/CaseSearch

Alexa Ray Alahouzos AKA AlexaRayWild

Alexa Ray Alahouzos AKA AlexaRayWild

Alexa Ray Alahouzos AKA AlexaRayWild

 

 

 

Litter bug:

Storage unit fox:

Foxes LIVING on a condo balcony:

Storage unit foxes (look at the white brick walls)

Please expose this. She is a prime example like Mike Holston who misuses their platform to lie and steal. Please contact me for more info.

Thank you,  Animal Frauds ExposedAnimal Frauds Exposed”

Alexa Ray Alahouzos AKA AlexaRayWild MC_Docket Court copy

Alexa Ray Alahouzos AKA AlexaRayWild MC_Docket

Alexa Ray Alahouzos AKA AlexaRayWild-FWC

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Posted on Aug 17, 2018 in Abuse, Browse by Name | 1 comment

Zootastic Troutman NC

Zootastic Troutman NC

Zootastic Pimps Out Big Cat Cubs

It’s 2016 and Zootastic is still pimping out cubs.

A concerned citizen went to visit Zootastic in North Carolina and took photos and video of the cub petting taking place there. In September 2016 they took photos and videos of a white tiger cub with horrible ringworm being used for cub petting and a liliger suffering from what appeared to be severe mange. Just two months after filing her compliant with USDA, Zootastic was fined over $7,000 and slapped with 9 animal welfare violations! According to records obtained by PETA, Zootastic Park—a disreputable roadside zoo that PETA has lodged complaints against for years—was penalized $7,450 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in November 2016 for nine violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act.  More at https://www.peta.org/blog/zootastic-park-fines/

Your voice matters!  When you see something SAY something.

What Visitors Say about Zootastic

My son and I visited Zootastic Park at 448 Pilch Rd, Troutman, NC, 28166 this past Saturday, September 17th, and we saw some things with their big cats that concern us terribly.  We did the Tiger Cub Encounter and the white tiger cub named Thor appears to have something wrong on his skin.  I wasn’t sure what it was, but had some suspicions.    Thor was also very hoarse when he talked.  I thought he sounded very strained and he cried out often and appeared very distressed and stressed out.

Also of concern, out in the park where they have their new enclosure for the tigers, they have a sickly looking Li-Liger Cub (I asked the keeper/handler on my encounter about this animal) and he said the animal belonged to someone else, but they are doing the best they could for him. He has close to no hair and his skin looks awful.  He is also being tormented by an adult white tiger female in that same enclosure.  I saw her grab him by the neck and get on top of him to show him she was boss.  She did it many times and swatted at him.  Before I left, he decided to fight back and show her he was tired of it.  Very, very disturbing to witness.  They have NO WHERE to go to get away from the torment!  And this poor little guy also has an open wound on top of one his paws.

I sent this info and photos to Carole Baskin at Big Cat Rescue to take a look at because I know she’s an expert on the big cats.  She believes it may either be Ringworm or Mange on Thor the cub.   This is a huge problem because they allowed us to touch the cub!  I have cats at home and this would be devastating to bring home.  For the Li-Liger cub, she said it looks like Mange.   I am requesting that you have an Inspector sent out to Zootastic Park right away to investigate these issues.  Please.  If the cub has Ringworm or Mange, as you know both are highly contagious,  then this is a huge public health risk!   The public can touch the animal.  I told Carole  I was told that Thor is 12 weeks old and they got him at 3 weeks of age she said that means the cub was sold AFTER it became illegal to take the cubs from their moms for handling before they are 4 weeks of age (see the USDA below).  If the cub was transferred across state lines at 3 weeks and money changed hands, then it was a violation of the USFWS rule below.

4/5/2016 USFWS announced that they are rescinding the generic tiger loophole. Big Cat Rescue has been pressuring the USFWS since at least 2007 to rescind this loophole and on 8/22/11 after a meeting with the USFWS the Generic Tiger issue was published to the Federal Register for public comment and got over 15,000 comments in support of our request to ban the breeding of non purebred tigers. Read more: http://bigcatrescue.org/usfws-rescinds-generic-tiger-loophole/

4/3/2016 USDA cracks down on abuse of cubs under the age of four weeks.  In response to a 2012 legal petition filed by The Humane Society of the United States, World Wildlife Fund, Detroit Zoological Society, International Fund for Animal Welfare, Born Free USA, Big Cat Rescue, Fund for Animals and Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries, the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued guidance making clear that exhibitors violate the Animal Welfare Act by allowing members of the public to handle or feed infant exotic cats like tigers, lions, cheetahs, jaguars or leopards.  Read more:  http://bigcatrescue.org/usda-announces-partial-cub-petting-ban/

Please take a look at these photos and video I took of Thor the White Tiger cub and photos of the Li-Liger cub.  Thank you so much for your time and concern!

liliger at Zootastic 2016

This mangey looking cub was being tormented by bigger tigers in the cage

liliger tormented by tiger at Zootastic 2016

This might be the worst case of mange or ringworm we’ve ever seen

White tiger cub Thor at Zootastic 2016

The spots on his legs, chest, belly, face, toes and read end look like ringworm

White tiger cub Thor at Zootastic 2016

Despite an obvious skin condition this cub is being pimped out as a pay to play object

Name Withheld

USDA Citations 2014 – 2016

Customer No:	 44266
Certificate No:	 55-C-0272
Jul 05, 2016
Direct:		 1
Non-Critical:	 7
Critical:	 0
Animal:		 194
ZOOTASTIC OF LAKE NORMAN INC

Zootastic 2016-07-acis3
Customer No:	 44266
Certificate No:	 55-C-0272
Nov 16, 2015
Direct:		 0
Non-Critical:	 0
Critical:	 0
Animal:		 194
ZOOTASTIC OF LAKE NORMAN INC

Zootastic 2015-05-acis3
Customer No:	 44266
Certificate No:	 55-C-0272
May 19, 2015
Direct:		 0
Non-Critical:	 4
Critical:	 0
Animal:		 172
ZOOTASTIC OF LAKE NORMAN INC

Zootastic 2015-03-acis3
Customer No:	 44266
Certificate No:	 55-C-0272
Mar 13, 2015
Direct:		 0
Non-Critical:	 1
Critical:	 0
Animal:		 2
ZOOTASTIC OF LAKE NORMAN INC

Zootastic 2015-02-acis3
Customer No:	 44266
Certificate No:	 55-C-0272
Feb 11, 2015
Direct:		 0
Non-Critical:	 1
Critical:	 0
Animal:		 213
ZOOTASTIC OF LAKE NORMAN INC

Customer No:	 44266
Certificate No:	 55-C-0272
Dec 30, 2014
Direct:		 0
Non-Critical:	 0
Critical:	 0
Animal:		 2
ZOOTASTIC OF LAKE NORMAN INC

Zootastic 2014-11-acis3
Customer No:	 44266
Certificate No:	 55-C-0272
Nov 05, 2014
Direct:		 0
Non-Critical:	 4
Critical:	 0
Animal:		 21
ZOOTASTIC OF LAKE NORMAN INC

Back in 2014

It has been reported that Zootastic, in Troutman, NC is charging people to play and pose with big cat cubs.  As usual, these kinds of operators insist that they are “legit” and that they are breeding for conservation and that paying them to play with cubs will result in conservation and a lovely life for the cubs when they grow up and are sent to undisclosed, other facilities.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

These USDA inspection reports show continuing violations of animal welfare standards and when the cubs are sent to other places you can be sure they will be equally as bad or worse.  No legitimate facility would allow Zootastic to continue to exploit cubs and then dump last year’s babies on them.  That just perpetuates abuse.

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Zootastic-11-2014-11-29 at 8.27.19 AM

Zootastic-14-2014-11-29 at 8.26.45 AM

 

Zootastic-2014-11-29 at 8.26.08 AM

 

Zootastic-2012-contaminated-food-inadequate-cages-illegal-purchase-348121512108140

Zootastic-2013-flies-210130904561467

Zootastic-2013-unsafe-dirty-cages-rats-316131202595636

Zootastic-2014-endangering-public309141411110578

Zootastic-2014-inadequate-caging-253141518120028

Zootastic-2014-smelly-cages-97140845575176

Zootastic-tiger-bit-guest-unsafe-cages-filthy-food-73131539185435

 

As soon as they opened, in 2012, they were exploiting cubs

 

Last holiday hoorah at Zootastic Park

Although the holiday is over, and 2012 is undeniably under way, Zootastic Park, one of the region’s more unique attractions, wants to stretch that holiday feeling for a little bit longer.

The park’s operators say, given the difficult economy, they want to give back to the community for its support of the zoo throughout the year. As a final present under the tree, Zootastic is holding over its “Wonderland of Lights” spectacular for one last time.

One of the largest holiday lights displays in the area, Zootastic will flip the switch back on Saturday, Jan. 7, from 6 to 10 p.m. Admission to the display is free.

With more than 1.5 million lights along the two-mile drive, the display concludes with a computerized light show in Zootastic’s “Western Town.” After viewing the lights, visitors are invited to enter the zoo to visit the animals. There will also be opportunities to have pictures taken with Zootastic’s baby tiger cub, ride a pony and more.

The Christmas Wonderland of Lights is located off I-77 at Exit 42 between Mooresville and Troutman. From I-77 North, turn left off the exit ramp and then right on Ostwalt-Amity Road. Zootastic Park is one mile further on the left.

The park will open for its pre-season on March 3. For more information, call 704-245-6446 or 888-966-0069 or visit www.zootasticpark.com.

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