Tuesday, February 3, 2015

With 38 new tigers and lions, G.W. Zoo asks for donations

Feb 03, 2015 By: Lauren Smith

WYNNEWOOD, Okla. -- The G.W. exotic animal park is once again asking for the public's help to keep their zoo going, after bringing in dozens of additional tigers and lions. "All of the cages for the 38 we just brought in were already constructed so we had room to bring those 38 in," says Joe Schreibvogel with the GW exotic zoo.

He says they do all they can to keep the hundreds of animals on their privately owned property in Wynnewood healthy and happy, but in a Facebook post this week, zoo representatives pleaded with the public to help keep the business alive, as the number of animals, and operating costs, keep growing. "You know the extra propane to keep some of the animals warm. The electric bill goes up trying to heat all the buildings. The telephone and the water. Just our water bill alone is $7,000 a month."

Schreibvogel, who says they're purely funded by visitors and donations, also attributes their growing bills to a lack of attendance during winter months. "Over the weekend we would normally see probably close to a thousand people on a Saturday and a Sunday and this weekend when it was cold and raining we probably saw about 25," said Schreibvogel.

According to Federal court records, Schreibvogel is still in bankruptcy, after he was ordered by a federal judge two years ago, to pay one million dollars to a big cat sanctuary in Florida for trademark infringement.

Last year, OSHA cited the zoo for failing to "properly protect employees from wild animals." And the USDA cited them for not providing adequate veterinary care. But Schreibvogel says most of the cats he takes in would have been euthanized if he had not offered to house and feed them. "That's another sad thing about what's going on in this industry right now is other states are banning them and making them illegal, but nobody wants to pay the cost to move them and take care of them."


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