The Garold Wayne Interactive Zoological Foundation

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The Garold Wayne Interactive Zoological Foundation
Date opened 1997
Location Wynnewood, Oklahoma
Coordinates 34°37′32.33″N 97°12′40.03″W / 34.6256472°N 97.2111194°W / 34.6256472; -97.2111194
Land area 16 acres (6.5 ha)
Number of animals 1400
Number of species 128
Website www.gwzoo.org

The The Garold Wayne Interactive Zoological Foundation, formerly known as G.W. Exotic Animal Memorial Foundation[1] and the The Garold Wayne Interactive Zoological Park,[2] is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in the United States. The organization's stated purpose is to provide care and shelter for exotic animals. It was founded in 1997 by the Schreibvogel Family of Springer, Oklahoma in memory of their late son Garold Schreibvogel (G.W.) who died in an automobile accident by a drunk driver.[3][4] The current president is Joe Schreibvogel.[5][6]

The foundation is supported by donations and visitors to the park as well as tours to malls and other businesses where the public can pose with a tiger cub for a fee.[7][2] The foundation maintains its commitment to the breeding, rescue, care of endangered and exotic species of animals.[2]

Establishment[edit]

The Garold Wayne Interactive Zoological Park is situated on 16 acres (6.5 ha) and began as a shelter for endangered and exotic species of animals. It currently houses and cares for over 128 species of animals and over 182 big cats.[8] In total, the park has approximately 1400 animals under its care and shelter during the year.[2]

The park itself offers tours and educational programs for visitors, all in keeping with the Garold Wayne Interactive Zoological Foundation's main cause of advocacy for the animals it hosts.[2] The park has been visited by people from all fifty states, along with international visitors from over two hundred countries.[9]

Breeding program[edit]

The Garold Wayne Interactive Zoological Park breeds a selected number of tiger, lions, and bears.[10] The animal park has been breeding exotic animals since 1997.[2]

Accusations of animal abuse[edit]

In 2011 Inside Edition exposed the use of sick cubs that were bred by Joe Schreibvogel for use as petting props.[11]

In 2004, the animal park was accused by animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) of harboring dying and injured animals in crowded conditions with a lack of food, water, veterinary care and insufficient and untrained staff. These complaints were partially based on a Consent Decision and Order from the United States Department of Agriculture for willful violations of the Animal Welfare Act. In its decision, the USDA claimed that the park failed to provide adequate veterinary care, safe enclosures, clean food, clean shelter, and trained employees. The park failed to maintain records and to keep animals safely constrained to avoid injuries to the public. The park was fined $25,000 and their USDA display permit was suspended. The park's USDA license was reinstated when it complied with USDA regulations.[1]

Between February and June 2006 PETA had an investigator[12] pose as an G.W. Exotic Animal Foundation employee who alleged having witnessed many occasions of animal cruelty and neglect.[13]

From 2009 to 2010, 23 tiger cubs died at the park.[14] Schreibvogel asserts that the deaths were due to "bad formula." The USDA is currently conducting an investigation into the issue.[15]

In May 2014, the USDA cited the park for failure to provide adequate veterinary care. According to officials, an injured bear's wound reopened and an employee attempted to stitch it. The injury became subsequently worse and the bear was euthanized.[16]

Other activities[edit]

The park also has a 20.6 mile lake resort with camping and fishing. The lake is stocked with fish and primitive camping and cabins are available.[17]

The park is licensed by the State of Oklahoma as a rendering facility.[18] President Joe Schreibvogel uses the stage name Joe Exotic at offsite appearances in a show entitled "Mystical Magic of the Endangered" at which he displays baby wild animals.[19]

The park was featured in a BBC documentary hosted by UK-based journalist Louis Theroux, titled America's Most Dangerous Pets.[20][21]

Accidents and incidents[edit]

On October 5, 2013, a female worker was attacked by a tiger after she stuck her hand inside its cage. The tiger grabbed her left arm and pulled it through a 4-inch square hole. She was taken to the hospital, and was expected to live.[22]

Location[edit]

The Garold Wayne Interactive Zoological Park is located between Oklahoma City and Dallas at Exit 64 on Interstate 35.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Department of Agriculture Docket # 05-0014". Retrieved 23 February 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "G.W. Exotic Home Page". Retrieved 22 May 2012. 
  3. ^ GW About Us, retrieved 22 May 2012 
  4. ^ Webb, Dennis (April 24, 2007). "Animal activists praise shopping center". Vail Daily. Retrieved November 1, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Biography of Joe Exotic". Retrieved 23 February 2010. 
  6. ^ "Magician: I should get to defend myself". April 1, 2010. Retrieved 1 April 2010. 
  7. ^ Knapp, Carla (May 17, 2007). "PETA brings battle to Logan Mall: Organization wants city to block exotic animal performances". Pharos-Tribune. Retrieved October 31, 2011. 
  8. ^ Holliday, Hailee (December 27, 2007). "Are Exotic Animals to Blame for Recent San Francisco Zoo Killing?". KTEN News. Retrieved November 1, 2011. 
  9. ^ "G.W. Exotic Animal Park Zoo". Retrieved 28 July 2011. 
  10. ^ "Rare Tiger Species". Archived from the original on 7 July 2011. Retrieved 28 July 2011. 
  11. ^ "Inside Edition exposes G.W. Exotic Animal Memorial Park". Inside Edition. Retrieved November 28, 2011. 
  12. ^ Surette, Rusty (January 11, 2011). "PETA Allegedly Paid Man To 'Spy, Download Information' From Exotic Animal Park". Retrieved July 28, 2011. 
  13. ^ "G.W. Exotic Animal Memorial Park Investigator's Log—Neglect". People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Retrieved June 23, 2011. 
  14. ^ Olafson, Steve (May 17, 2012). "G.W. Exotic Animal Park Lets Kids Play With Tigers, Humane Society Accuses". Retrieved October 6, 2013. 
  15. ^ "INSIDE EDITION Investigates Tigers as Shopping Mall Attractions". November 28, 2011. Retrieved October 6, 2013. 
  16. ^ "G.W. Interactive Zoological Park under fire for alleged animal mistreatment". May 22, 2014. Retrieved May 23, 2014. 
  17. ^ "G.W. Exotic Animal Park Opens New Lake Area Resort". Retrieved 2011-07-28. 
  18. ^ "Rendering Licenses". Retrieved 23 February 2010. 
  19. ^ "About Big Cat Rescue". June 29, 2007. Retrieved 28 July 2011. 
  20. ^ Rees, Jasper (October 31, 2011). "Louis Theroux: America's Most Dangerous Pets, BBC Two/ Misfits, Series 3, E4". The Arts Desk. Retrieved October 31, 2011. 
  21. ^ "Louis Theroux, America's Most Dangerous Pets". BBC Two. Retrieved October 31, 2011. 
  22. ^ "TIGER ATTACKS WORKER AT OKLA. ANIMAL PARK". AP. Retrieved 5 October 2013. 

External links[edit]