Even if the practice endangers young animals and violates the handling regulations of the Federal Animal Protection Act, Roadside zoo workers often tear exotic kittens away from their mothers so that they can exploit the boys for photo ops or throw them into other tourist traps. Young exotic cats in roadside zoos are often stripped from their mothers when they are only a few days old, which can suppress their immune systems and lead to long-term suffering. Exhibitors and owners sometimes send newborns to other roadside zoos as early as one month old, putting them at risk of getting sick.
Shipping exotic cats for newborns is against the law
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) recognizes that non-domesticated kittens 4 weeks old or younger “have special handling and housing needs” because they “are unable to regulate temperature and are not fully.” have a functioning immune system to fight off disease and infection. “The agency states that newborn pups” should be housed with their mother as long as possible after birth to promote good health. “
Thanks to PETA, the USDA is cracking down on roadside zoos shipping newborn exotic cats across the country.
After we brought the USDA’s attention to the following roadside zoos and their operators who were involved in the practice, federal agencies quoted them:
- Tom Harvey, owner and operator of Zoo Safari Park, for the transport of a lion cub less than 4 weeks old from Wild Wilderness, Inc., in Arkansas to its facility in Kansas
- Tanganyika wildlife park, for moving three 18-day-old Eurasian lynx kittens from his Kansas facility to Jeremiah Tietz, owner and operator of Saginaw Tropical Animals in Michigan
- Animals of Montana, for shipping a 17-day-old puma cub from his Montana facility to Florida
- The wild things of Dade City and Steven Higgsto transport two three week old bobcat pups from Florida to the Higgs facility, A walk on the wild side, in Oregon – and Higgs, for shipping a 2 week old tiger from the now-defunct facility in Oklahoma GW Zoo heard “Joe Exotic“To his facility in Oregon
Roadside zoos also often drag babies through nearby cities, exposing them to the public and endangering both animals and people.
After PETA brought the USDA’s attention to these seedy exhibitors who exposed newborn cubs to the public, they were quoted by the USDA as saying:
- Space Farms Zoo & Museum in New Jersey transported a puma cub to a public event, car dealership and radio station and displayed it to the public at the roadside zoo while it was less than 2 weeks old.
- Animal paradise zoo in Wisconsin transported a tiger cub less than 4 weeks old to a school classroom where the endangered cub had direct contact with children.
Trade for tigers at the Animal Haven Zoo
Many other roadside zoos, including this one, have been cited for transporting newborn babies across the country:
Trade for big cats and their young
In nature, big cats often have hundreds of miles of territory to roam, swim, climb, choose their partners, and raise their young. But when used for photo ops, pups are ripped from their mothers when they are only hours, days, or weeks old.
Once too big to control, exhibitors view them as nothing more than an issue that can last up to 20 years. While some of these animals are being killed, most are relegated to dingy cages in rundown roadside zoos and sometimes used for breeding to keep the cycle going.
Here’s what you can do:
Call on Congress to support the Big Cat Public Safety Act
Promise never to go on photo ops with wild animals