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roadside zoos and animal abuse

Discussion in 'United States' started by Chlidonias, 19 Sep 2015.

  1. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

    13 Jun 2007
    I'm not sure if this has been covered here before, but an article just popped up about animal abuse at six roadside zoos in America.

    The Reston Zoo and Natural Bridge Zoo, both in Virginia, and the Tri-State Zoo in Maryland are all owned by the same family.

    The other three zoos referenced include the Plumpton Park Zoo in Maryland, the Catoctin Zoo in Maryland. I couldn't see the sixth zoo named but in an attached graphic there are ten roadside zoos labelled.

    It is a very long article so I won't quote it, but it well worth reading.
  2. snowleopard

    snowleopard Well-Known Member Premium Member

    1 Dec 2007
    Abbotsford, B.C., Canada
    Thanks for posting the informative article. After having visited 285 zoos within the United States I'm actually rather proud of the fact that I've never been to any of the hell-holes mentioned in the article. Nevertheless, I have toured some rather dubious facilities and in truth it is difficult to judge how good or bad many small zoos are until you step foot onto the premises. Large American zoos have fantastic websites and lots of advertising but many of the smaller, "roadside" U.S. zoos have barely legible websites and often just a few hand-made signs by the side of the road. As has been stated time and time again, the lax legislation in many states enables amateurishly run "zoos" to stay open when in truth there are loads of places that should be shut-down for good.
  3. blospz

    blospz Well-Known Member

    17 May 2010
    Hagerstown, MD US
    I visited the Catoctin Zoo a few years ago as it's actually the closest zoo to me. On my first visit, I found positive aspects and saw some rarer animals. But then months, then years thinking back on it, it wasn't that great of a zoo. The flamingos have no water in their exhibit, the sun bears are in a concrete hellhole, the white tigers are breed and their babies are taken away and displayed in the front of the zoo for visitors to see up close. They have gotten new animals in the past couple of years I'd love to see, fossa and binturong, but my heart wouldn't bear to see them in their enclosures.
  4. dcpandafan

    dcpandafan Well-Known Member

    5 Sep 2013
    Maryland, USA
    I've also been to Catoctin before and in my opinion when it comes to the collection the zoo isn't that bad but in terms of quality of exhibits it's a hell hole.

    Also the zoo received a giraffe a couple years back that was only meant to be temporary but the zoo wanted to keep it so they tried raising funds for an exhibit for it but the giraffe died only a year later for reasons I don't know. Also this information is only stuff I've read I don't actually know if the giraffe was temporary or not.

    the sun bear exhibit used to hold a grizzly bear a while back.
  5. CuseZoofan

    CuseZoofan Well-Known Member

    29 Aug 2011
    Kirkville, NY, USA
    Near me in Chittenango NY about 15-20 minutes east of Syracuse is a small wildlife park known as the The Wild Animal Park and I guess you would classify it as a roadside zoo but it is nothing like these described here or the article. Jeff Taylor the owner takes exceptional care with all of his animals and even designs and builds the exhibits himself and with his staff. Nothing about him or the zoo suggests he mistreats the animals.

    He has created a small zoo (about 13 acres currently) out of what was once a wooded area next to I-90 and turned it into an enjoyable family experience all while keeping the animals well being first and foremost. He has plenty of domestics like goats and donkeys, as well as several exotics like Giraffes, Lions, Bengal Tigers, Brown and Black Bears. Some of his exhibits are not as nice as say a major zoo's but they are not concrete pits by any means. His newest exhibit is called Grizzly Falls and has two young Grizzly Bear cubs and is an exceptional exhibit feature a waterfall and pool as well as plenty of logs to climb on. Each exhibit he builds gets better and better.

    If anyone ever has a chance to visit it do so especially if your in the area or visiting either the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse or Utica Zoo towards the east. It may not be the San Diego Zoo but Jeff proves you don't have to be to love and care for animals. He also does a great educating the public through demonstrations and public appearances.

    The Wild Animal Park | The Adventure Begins Here