"closed until April and seeking donations of money and goods, including hay and grain"
"the nonprofit zoo north of Reno staffed by volunteers"
"The zoo has a new 8-month-old liger, a mix between a male lion and a female tiger"
“While the zoo does need help for caring for its animals in the winter, we are ..."
“We sell surplus animals so that we don’t have more than what we can care for,”
"McDaniel said he and other zoo officials worried about adding another mouth to feed"
Sorry but this does not seem right to me. Am I being taken in by PETA propaganda? What do you think? I have never been there so correct me if I am wrong. Sierra Safari Zoo
Sierra Safari Zoo disputes PETA criticism
A founder of the Sierra Safari Zoo today disputed claims made by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals group that the zoo fails to care for its animals and “callously” sells some.
In a Monday letter to zoo founder Dale McDaniel, Lisa Wathne, a PETA captive exotic animal specialist, urges zoo officials stop breeding and acquiring more animals than they can provide for.
The letter comes while the nonprofit zoo north of Reno staffed by volunteers is closed until April and seeking donations of money and goods, including hay and grain. The zoo has a new 8-month-old liger, a mix between a male lion and a female tiger donated by its owner in Illinois.
“While the zoo does need help for caring for its animals in the winter, we are completely capable of caring for our new liger permanently due to an ongoing donation from Walmart of meat,” McDaniel said.
Officials of PETA said baby animals quickly become adults who continue to require food, housing, and veterinary care as their appeal to human visitors wanes.
“While the Sierra Safari Zoo continues to breed baby animals for display, the facility has been callously selling off ‘surplus’ animals through Animal Finders’ Guide -- a trade magazine that peddles exotic animals to breeders, dealers, and the pet trade,” Wathne said in an e-mail to the Reno Gazette-Journal. “Animals who are sold through this process are likely to end up in shoddy roadside zoos, traveling animal exhibits, or other cruel establishments.”
McDaniel disagreed with PETA’s description of the practice.
“The Animal Finders’ Guide has been painted poorly and is used by many zoos and reputable breeders as a way to trade and sell surplus animals,” he said. “I have personally visited many of the facilities we have sold animals to and found them to be reputable in every way.”
The zoo has about 150 animals, officials have said.
“We sell surplus animals so that we don’t have more than what we can care for,” he said.
PETA officials said the zoo should not acquire more animals than it can handle.
“Sierra Safari Zoo regularly makes desperate appeals to well-intentioned contributors for funds, even as it piles more and more animals,” PETA Director Debbie Leahy said in a news release. “This zoo needs to take responsibility for the animals who are already housed in its facility.
“These animals deserve care and should not have to suffer because the zoo bites off more than it can chew.”
McDaniel said he and other zoo officials worried about adding another mouth to feed with the liger while the food drive lagged but that the Walmart donation saved them thousands of dollars.
McDaniel said PETA opposes having any animals in captivity. He does not plan a formal response to PETA’s letter.
“(The Sierra Safari zoo) provide(s) a tremendous
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