Living Treasures Wild Animal Park
Living Treasures Wild Animal Parks, an hour’s drive from Pittsburgh, in New Castle and Jonas Mills, are two appalling roadside zoos, in our opinion. Living Treasures has a history of failing to comply with the federal Animal Welfare Act and has been cited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for:
• Unsafe caging of adult tigers
• Failure to have a veterinarian-approved feeding plan for infant primates, bears, lions, tigers and other animals who have been taken away from their mothers
• Failure to provide veterinary care to sick and lame animals
• Failure to provide animals with adequate shelter during bitterly cold winter weather
• Failure to have an adequate veterinary care program, such as tuberculosis testing for primates
• Filthy conditions, unsanitary food storage, inadequate perimeter fencing and repeatedly failing to provide primates with sufficient lighting in indoor cages.
Living Treasures boasts its affiliation with the Zoological Association of America. That may sound impressive, but is actually meaningless and deceptive. The ZAA is a small fringe group with weak standards that endorses poorly run roadside zoos and allows the public to have unsafe contact with dangerous wild animals – it should not be confused with the highly credible and professional Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
Big Cat Rescue Alerted the World About Thor the Lion Cub
July 12, 2015 A lion cub at a roadside zoo in Pennsylvania desperately needs your help!
We learned last week about a one-year-old male lion cub at Living Treasures Wild Animal Park in Jones Mills, Pennsylvania that reportedly is being attacked repeatedly by his father. The cub is housed with both parents and has no way to escape the attacks. Adult male lions are hard wired to run off or kill their grown sons to protect their own breeding rights in the pride.
The cub appears physically injured in this video taken by a concerned family visiting the park on July 2, 2015. The woman asked a park worker what was wrong with the lion that he could barely walk. She was told that the adult lion “beats up the cub and the cub has nowhere to escape.”
An animal attacking another animal in a cage is a clear USDA violation of 9 C.F.R. s. 3.133, which requires that “animals housed in the same primary enclosure must be compatible. Animals shall not be housed near animals that interfere with their health or cause them discomfort.”
When Big Cat Rescue contacted Living Treasures about the cub, we were informed in writing that “there is no tension within this family nor has there been at any time in the past. The parents are both loving and playful with the kitten. All of the cats are physically healthy and are under the care of our veterinarian. This young male kitten is mentally slow and although physically fit does not always move with the alacrity of his siblings. We are providing him a safe, secure and happy environment. His condition is observed regularly by our vet.”
HUH? Physically healthy? Physically fit? The cub can barely move in the video! Big Cat Rescue asked Living Treasures if we could speak with their vet and review the cub’s medical records. We received no response.
Won’t you please SPEAK UP for this lion cub before it’s too late? Help us urge Living Treasures to immediately separate this cub from his father and then build a separate enclosure for him. Also urge USDA to promptly inspect the lions at Living Treasures and ensure that the health and safety of this cub is given top priority.
Ask USDA to ensure that the lion cub is being provided with adequate veterinary care pursuant to 9 C.F.R. s. 2.40 and to examine the facility’s veterinary records to ensure appropriate care has been sought and that any treatment plan is being followed.
Living Treasures Owner’s Respond to Bad Press
After Living Treasures Wild Animal Park sent out their letter to people complaining about the way they treated the lion cub, the woman who video taped the crippled lion went back to see if other keepers would contradict the story she was told, but there was only one keeper there, the same person who told her the father frequently attacked the cub.
When Carole Baskin wrote Fawn Dumbauld with concerns about the cub, she got a canned response that said:
They are our family…
We have been raising big cats for 28 years and have the experience to know when a young male is perceived as competition to his father…
We do not believe that any staff member would have made such a statement…
To alleviate concerns from the public we have already separated the cub from the parents as to prevent any possible injury due to the father. He will remain separated from the adults until we have found a location that best fits his needs…
There has been a lot of misinformation passed around over the last day and we felt compelled to clarify and share the truth with everyone. We appreciate your support as we find Thor a new loving home…
Carole Baskin’s Letter
Attn: Fawn Dumbauld,
Selling off your “family”, especially a handicapped member, hardly makes you sound like a family anyone would want to be a part of.
I turned off the emails going to you, and had them come to me instead, once you told us that you removed the poor cub from the inappropriate situation. I sort of regret it, given this ridiculous reply you are sending people.
The thousands of outraged people might have shown you that breeding big cats for life in cages is a barbaric part of the past and people who really love animals won’t stand for it. I would also have liked for all of our supporters to see this response you sent out because it would encourage them to persist in ending the abuses inherent in breeding wild animals for lives of deprivation in captivity.
I hope you get it one day and become a sanctuary instead of a zoo.
For the cats,
Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
“Judge me by the enemies I have made.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt
Where Do All Those Cubs Go?
Living Treasures Wild Animal Park seems unashamed of selling or “re-homing” the cubs they bred to apparently lure people through their gates. To have new cubs every so often means you have to unload last year’s cubs. Here is one example of places they send their unwanted big cats:
Wildlife in Need
Tim Stark insisted that both of his leopards were dead. Records show he got the cats from Living Treasures Animal Park in New Castle, Pa. They seemed healthy, he recalled, at four months old, but they were “mean as hell.”
Stark said he remembered the day he found one lying on its side, barely breathing. By the time he got to the leopard, it was allegedly dead.
He grabbed its back leg, and it snapped, Stark recalled. That’s when he came to the conclusion that metabolic bone disease had been what made them so mean. But no veterinarian ever examined the animals, USDA records show.
Three or four days after the first leopard died, Stark recalled, was when the second leopard squalled and screamed and darted at him. Stark said he hit it with a baseball bat.
“I hit it numerous times, over and over and over,” he said. “The last time I seen that cat it was (expletive) dead. I hit it with a ball bat numerous freaking times and hit it plenty hard enough to damn kill a full-grown leopard let alone a damn little leopard.”
So unless the leopard came back to life, he said, he doesn’t see how it could have landed in Doris Armstrong’s yard.