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Posted on Apr 28, 2016 in Abuse, Browse by Name | 0 comments

Gretchen Mogensen

Gretchen Mogensen

Gretchen Mogensen Supporting Joe Exotic in Wynnewood Cub Petting Compound

PETA Calls On Feds to Hold Former Natural Bridge Zoo Employees Responsible for Alleged Unlawful Animal Transport

February 5, 2015

Contact: David Perle 202-483-7382

Myrtle Beach, S.C. – PETA sent an urgent letter today calling on the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) to investigate Gretchen Mogensen and Paul Malagerio for reportedly fleeing Virginia with two cougars and a tiger from the notorious Natural Bridge Zoo, transporting the animals across state lines to a Myrtle Beach roadside zoo known as T.I.G.E.R.S. The pair was recently exposed on video striking tiger cubs in the face while peddling photo opportunities with the cats at Natural Bridge Zoo. PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—is asking the FWS to hold the exhibitors accountable for apparently violating the Captive Wildlife Safety Act, which prohibits the interstate transport of big cats by unlicensed individuals.

This apparently illegal transport proves, once again, that the priority of these animal exploiters is profit, not the well-being of the animals or respect for the laws designed to protect these animals,“This apparently illegal transport proves, once again, that the priority of these animal exploiters is profit, not the well-being of the animals or respect for the laws designed to protect these animals,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders. “PETA is calling on the authorities to show that these individuals can’t get away with abusing animals, apparently breaking the law, or fleeing the scrutiny they’re under.”

Since 2000, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has cited Natural Bridge Zoo owner Karl Mogensen—Gretchen Mogensen’s father—for 78 violations of federal animal-protection laws, including, among others, failure to provide animals with adequate veterinary care, clean drinking water, adequately heated housing, and safe and secure enclosures.

T.I.G.E.R.S. is no less notorious: Its owner, Bhagavan Antle, has a decades-long history of violating federal animal-protection laws, including recent citations for failing to house dozens of adult tigers in secure enclosures and allowing one 700-pound tiger to escape into a group of visitors.

http://www.pressreleasepoint.com/animal-exploiters-under-fire-apparently-illegally-transporting-big-cats

 

During the spring, summer and early fall of 2014, an HSUS investigator went undercover at the Natural Bridge Zoo (NBZ), a tawdry and troubled roadside zoo located in rural Natural Bridge, Virginia, and owned and operated by Karl and Debbie Mogensen. NBZ breeds and sells numerous exotic animals to the pet trade, individuals, other roadside zoos, at
auctions and to canned hunt facilities. The Mogensens are affiliated with the Zoological Association of America, a small, deceptively named fringe group that accredits poorly run roadside zoos and supports indiscriminate and unhealthy breeding practices along with the exotic pet trade.

Karl Mogensen’s daughter, Gretchen, breeds tiger cubs for use in moneymaking photo shoots and private play sessions at NBZ. During our investigation, five tiger cubs were born and immediately taken from their mother, Bhuva. Two of the cubs, named Daxx and Deja, were kept by NBZ for a few months while their three siblings were sent to T.I.G.E.R.S., an exotic animal compound in South Carolina that engages in the same cub breeding that has caused an over-population problem and warehousing of these magnificent animals.

Read the rest here:  http://www.humanesociety.org/assets/pdfs/wildlife/exotics/roadside-zoo-natural-bridge.pdf

 

16-0042 Gretchen K. Mogensen
Respondent’s Response to Petitioner’s January
28, 2016, Letter Filed by: Attorney for Respondent More here:  http://www.oaljdecisions.dm.usda.gov/sites/default/files/Hearing%20Clerk’s%20Log%20February%2025,%202016.pdf

 

Animal Exploiters under Fire for Apparently Illegally Transporting Big Cats

States News Service February 5, 2015

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — The following information was released by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA):

PETA sent an urgent letter today calling on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to investigate Gretchen Mogensen and Paul Malagerio for reportedly fleeing Virginia with two cougars and a tiger from the notorious Natural Bridge Zoo, transporting the animals across state lines to a Myrtle Beach roadside zoo known as T.I.G.E.R.S. The pair was recently exposed on video striking tiger cubs in the face while peddling photo opportunities with the cats at Natural Bridge Zoo. PETA-whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”-is asking the FWS to hold the exhibitors accountable for apparently violating the Captive Wildlife Safety Act, which prohibits the interstate transport of big cats by unlicensed individuals. More: https://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-400473497.html

 

HSUS: reveals results of undercover investigation of Natural Bridge Zoo

BY SURI CROWE THURSDAY, JANUARY 22ND 2015

Update: In a statement to ABC 13, USDA spokeswoman Tanya Espinosa confirmed, “We do have an open investigation at this time, and as such, it is inappropriate for me to comment further,” in reference to the complaint filed with the federal agency by the Humane Society of the United States against the Natural Bridge Zoo.

The roadside zoo, was inspected multiple times in 2014 by the USDA, which is responsible for issuing permits that allow the zoo to exhibit exotic and endangered species, such as tigers and giraffes, but inspectors only found the zoo “non-compliant” in two of them.{}Currently the zoo is licensed as being in compliance under the federal Animal Welfare Act with an expiration of August 2015, ABC 13 learned.

HSUS President and CEO, Wayne Pacelle, wants the USDA to revoke the zoo’s permit permanently. {}The Department of Game and Inland Fisheries also confirmed to ABC 13 that is also conducting and investigation based on the HSUS’ complaint. It can only issue permits for exhibiting native animal species, of which the zoo, claims to have “four cougars,” on premises.

Robert “Bucky” Joyce, Rockbridge Commonwealths’ Attorney, told ABC 13 he wasn’t aware of any criminal complaints that had been filed against the zoo, but that didn’t mean that there aren’t any filed through other state agencies.{}Calls by ABC 13 to zoo owner Karl Mogenson were not returned today.

Natural Bridge., VA- The Humane Society of the United States announced a months long results from two undercover investigations at roadside zoos today. The HSUS says inhumane treatment of tiger cubs exploited for photographic opportunities, indiscriminate breeding of tigers, rampant trade in cubs for public handling and dumping of the cubs once they were no longer profitable. The HSUS conducted the investigations at Tiger Safari in Oklahoma and Natural Bridge Zoo in Rockbridge, Virginia. The non-profit ground says these roadside zoos allow members of the public to pet, feed, pose and play with baby tigers for a fee.

The investigation of the Natural Bridge Zoo, was conducted from May 6th through October 7th of last year and the HSUS has filed criminal complaints and violation of animal welfare act with both the state attorney and USDA. In a press conference Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The HSUS revealed that the investigations documented the very lucrative business of using infant tigers for public photo shoots and other moneymaking events – fees ranged from $50 to $1,000 per session. Video footage graphically revealed the distress and abuse endured by the endangered animals used for this practice.

Pacelle says tiger cubs were forcibly separated from their mothers during birth and the first few months of their lives were dictated exclusively by public handling schedules. Cubs who were tired, overheated, thirsty, hungry or sick were required to sit still for a parade of paying customers.Pacelle told the media that the investigations also provided a snapshot of the unfettered breeding of big cats for the exploitation of their cubs, the resulting surplus of adult big cats, and the animal welfare and public safety implications when large cubs are discarded after ceasing to be profitable. He went on to say, that the zoos, discard of the baby tiger cubs to organizations that use them for canned hunts, other inhumane roadside zoo operations or use of the animals for body parts.

“Our investigations revealed never-before seen abuse, neglect, and the over breeding that goes on behind the scenes at these tiger cub handling operations. We must put an end to this dangerous and cruel business,” Pacelle said. {}In a written response, to the Associated Press, Natural Bridge Zoo owner Karl Mogensen called the allegations “slanderous” and “vicious propaganda” aimed at soliciting donations. He also denied the accusations.

 

CRIME

Father, daughter charged with not properly caring for animals at Florida, Virginia zoos

GULF BREEZE, Fla. –  Federal officials filed a complaint accusing the owners of a Florida zoo of failing to properly care for the animals.

The charges by the U.S. Department of Agriculture say the 50-acre Gulf Breeze Zoo wasn’t properly supervised when a child was bitten by a camel. The tiger enclosure didn’t have proper ventilation and other animal enclosures had rusted fences and exposed nails, according to the complaint.

Owner Eric Mogensen and his daughter, Meghan, were charged with multiple violations of the Animal Welfare Act at the Gulf Breeze facility, as well as two other facilities they own in Virginia, according to the Florida Daily News (http://tinyurl.com/pyldtqb) .

Emails and a phone message left at the zoo were not immediately returned Sunday.

___

Information from: Northwest Florida Daily News (Fort Walton Beach, Fla.), http://www.nwfdailynews.com

 

Virginia zoo director guilty of drowning wallaby in bucket of water before tossing in dumpster

Reston Zoo Director Meghan Mogensen, 26, found guilty of animal cruelty and illegal possession of animal anaesthetics

Police say Mogensen claimed to have humanely killed the wallaby after it suffered an eye injury

A necropsy and toxicology test found no sign of drugs or needle punctures as claimed by the director

Former zoo curator who discovered the wallaby’s body claims the death is just the tip of others inhumanely killed including rabbits bashed against walls

By NINA GOLGOWSKI

PUBLISHED: 10:38 EST, 29 September 2012 | UPDATED: 11:30 EST, 29 September 2012

Guilty: Reston Zoo Director Meghan Mogensen, 26, was sentenced to 30 days in jail for animal cruelty and illegal possession of animal anaesthesia

A Virginia zoo director has been found guilty of animal cruelty after drowning an injured wallaby in a bucket of water.

Reston Zoo Director Meghan Mogensen, 26, was sentenced to 30 days in jail on Friday after the body of the adult wallaby named Parmesan was recovered soaking in a plastic bag last January by a now former employee.

That former zoo curator turned whistleblower, Ashley Rood, testified that the wallaby’s death was just the tip of inhumane killings undertaken by the director that included rabbits slammed into walls, chickens fed to pythons and others plainly shot.

It was an eye injury sustained by Parmesan while hopping around its pen on January 26th that led to its barbaric death and disposal at the hands of the director, according to Rood.
‘I ripped open the bag and I saw the animal and it solidified it for me,’ Rood described to ABC7 of finding the wallaby’s body soaking in one of the park’s dumpsters.

From what started as a bandage on Parmesan’s left eye and his placement by zookeepers in a plastic crate for his recovery, Rood said the animal managed to bang his head, further puncturing his eye which started bleeding.

According to Rood, Ashley Mogensen asked the zoo’s owner, Eric Mogensen, what to do. He told her to euthanize the animal, a decision that ‘dumbfounded’ Rood who believed its injuries could be treated.

‘I didn’t think the eye could be salvaged but it could be removed by a vet,’ Rood said, according to the Vienna Patch. ‘I told [Ashley Mogensen] other than that, he appears perfectly fine.’

Killed: The wallaby named Parmesan, pictured, was recovered wrapped inside a garbage bag with tests finding neither sign of a needle’s injection or a drug in the animal’s body
Rood claimed Mogensen retorted with: ‘These animals are Eric’s property, and we need to do what he wants with them.’

Mogensen, according to Rood, said she’d ‘take care of it’ and sent her on an errand after she expressed not wanting anything to do with its euthanasia.

Returning to find the wallaby missing from its enclosure and a bucket of water one-quarter of the way full sitting nearby, Rood said she put two and two together and raced to a dumpster to find the animal soaking wet while wrapped inside a trash bag.

Rood immediately announced her resignation and called local authorities.

‘I told Meghan “I think you and your father are sick, sadistic people and I am not going to be a part of it anymore,” said Rood. ‘It is one thing to euthanize them. It is another thing to drown them.’

Appealing: Morgensen, seen holding a baby kangaroo in 2011, plans to appeal the guilty verdict

Injury: Parmesan had suffered an eye injury while hopping around its pen, one that the zoo’s curator believed could be treated instead of being killed

Responding authorities who saw the animal’s body were told that Mogensen had just washed the wallaby -reasoning its wet condition – after humanely euthanizing it with an IV injection of Beuthanasia-D. They turned critical when seeing the zoo didn’t have permits or training to legally administer the drug.

Ordering a necropsy and toxicology test on the body, expert witnesses also reported finding neither sign of a needle’s injection or a drug in the animal’s body.

Instead there were ruptured blood vessels in its lungs along with plant matter and bacteria consistent with a drowning, according to Jaime Weisman, veterinary  diagnostician with the Virginia Department of Agriculture who was one of 15 witnesses who testified on behalf of prosecutors.

Mogensen has been sentenced to 30 days in jail and fined $1,000 for the animal cruelty charge along with a $250 fine and six month suspensions of her driver’s license for illegal possession of animal anaesthetics.

Whistleblower: That curator Ashley Rood, pictured, said she called authorities who recovered the body which the director said was humanely killed and only wet because of a bath

String of abuse: The curator claims that the wallaby’s death was the breaking point for her after previous animal killings at the zoo allegedly involved banging rabbits against walls and shooting them

Asked by the judge if she had anything to say before her verdict’s reading, Mogensen did not speak, in addition to not testifying during the trial.

‘I don’t wish anything bad for the zoo, there are so many animals there that I love and there are people who work there that do really love what they do and I know it’s hard for them right now,’ Rood told WUSA after the trial whose verdict she described being a major relief to her.

Meghan Mogensen is said by her attorneys to be appealing the charges against her.

‘She was concerned about this animal,’ Defence Attorney Caleb Kershner said in his closing statement according to the Washington Post. ‘It was suffering.’

Other zoos owned by Eric Mogensen have been scrutinized in recent years while this was the first against the Reston Zoo, according to the Post which also lists the current allegations of additional inhumane animal killings within the zoo according to Rood.

A request for comment by the Reston Zoo was not immediately returned on Saturday.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2210426/Reston-Virginia-zoo-director-Meghan-Mogensen-jailed-drowning-wallaby-named-Parmesan-bucket-water.html

 

Legal Name (DBA):
KARL MOGENSEN (NATURAL BRIDGE ZOOLOGICAL PARK)
Customer No: 2468
Certificate No: 52-C-0035
Certificate Status: ACTIVE
Status Date: Jan 2, 1960
PO BOX 88
NATURAL BRIDGE ,VA 24578
COUNTY: ROCKBRIDGE

VERY BAD USDA INSPECTION OF NATURAL BRIDGE ZOO

Owned and operated by the Mogensen family.

NaturalBridgeZoo2015-01-06

NaturalBridgeZoo2015-03-10

NaturalBridgeZoo2015-05-19

NaturalBridgeZoo2015-12-15

NaturalBridgeZoo2013-02-28HeatForGuineaPigsDamagedFence

NaturalBridgeZoo2013-08-13VetCareWatering

NaturalBridgeZoo2013-09-26VetCare

NaturalBridgeZoo2014-02-19FlooringFacilities

NaturalBridgeZoo2014-06-24Facilities

VA130013_AC_Complaint_Mogensen_Redacted

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