For Immediate Release:
September 14, 2022
David Perle 202-483-7382
Troutman, N.C. – New eyewitness reports, including from a private investigator hired by PETA, allege that local outfit Zootastic Park is receiving shipments of animals from a South Carolina roadside zoo that faces a PETA lawsuit over its alleged failure to provide animals with adequate care—leading to animal deaths, among other issues. Because the secret transfers from Waccatee Zoological Farm hinder PETA’s ability to collect evidence about the animals’ conditions and push for any needed treatment, PETA has filed an emergency motion with the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina, seeking a court order that prohibits further transfers to Zootastic.
PETA notes that Zootastic has a history of poor treatment of animals as documented by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), including a “critical citation” it received after allowing several animals to suffer from frostbite—leading to amputations of parts of two monkeys’ tails. Last year, the USDA cited Zootastic for failing to provide animals with adequate veterinary care, noting that the tails of two squirrels at the facility had been amputated because of apparent “self-trauma.”
“Shipping animals from one shabby outfit to the next prolongs their pain, and in this case, it blocks PETA from gathering evidence about these animals’ suffering,” says PETA Foundation General Counsel for Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet. “This is a shady stunt designed to prevent abused animals from receiving the care they desperately need.”
PETA’s lawsuit under the federal Endangered Species Act and South Carolina’s public nuisance law alleges that Waccatee confines and exhibits more than 460 animals in conditions in which they’re deprived of appropriate veterinary care and other necessities. The group’s motion also asks the court to consider sanctions against Waccatee and asks for the notorious roadside zoo to account for the whereabouts and ownership history of the animals. In addition to PETA Foundation counsel, the plaintiffs are represented by Jonathan Brightbill, Kyllan Gilmore, Stacie Knight, and Sharon Lin with Winston & Strawn LLP.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.