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GW Zoo Cleared of False PeTA Allegations

The Garold Wayne Interactive Zoological Park Responds to Doctored PeTA Video from 2006

POSTED: The Oklahoman November 10, 2006  

By Josh Rabe

WYNNEWOOD - Local and federal investigators found no evidence of wrongdoing at the The Garold Wayne Interactive Zoological Park , despite claims made by an activist group last week that animals were abused and neglected by park employees.

"We are not going to pursue any charges with the Garvin County District Attorney's office," said Steve Brooks, the county undersheriff.

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals released a video clip November 2 that the group said proves animals there were suffering, abused and malnourished. A park volunteer working for PeTA used a hidden camera to capture video between February and June.

Brooks said investigators reviewed video supplied by PeTA on Wednesday, but "there was no criminal wrongdoing we could find."

An inspector from the U.S. Department of Agriculture spent Monday combing the park for violations, but none were listed on an inspection report provided by the park.

"I never had anything to worry about because I hadn't done anything criminal," said Joe Schreibvogel, park manager. "I didn't do anything immoral, either."

During the time the employee worked at the park, federal inspectors visited the park twice and found none of the violations PeTA claimed to have uncovered, according to inspection reports.

"There is no way a USDA inspector is going to come into this park twice and not find some of the things PeTA claims were going on," Schreibvogel said.

One violation noted:

The only violation noted by the USDA was a fence that surrounded the park that was not tall enough to keep outside animals from getting into the park. The fence should have been 8 feet tall.

The park issued PeTA's volunteer, Mike Steinberg, a written warning in May for violating USDA food preparation guidelines for the animals. The park also supplied a written test Steinberg took to become a park volunteer. His answers contradicted PeTA's claim that animals at the park were malnourished.

Schreibvogel said the few video clips released by PeTA misrepresented the park by showing only injured animals and using comments made by park employees out of context.

Behavior not tolerated:

He said he watched the video Wednesday and was upset by the conduct of several employees. He said all but one of the employees shown in the video already had been fired for other infractions of park rules.

"There's no way in five months they could get Joe on tape saying we don't feed the animals or get Joe on tape beating an animal because that's not the way Joe does business," Schreibvogel said. "I don't tolerate that kind of behavior."

911 Animal Abuse


  

Oklahoman Newspaper 2006 Article

Wynnewood Gazette 2006 Article - page 1

Wynnewood Gazette 2006 Article - page 2

Pauls Valley Democrat 2007 Article

The Garold Wayne Interactive Zoological Park | GW Zoo Cleared of PeTA Allegations

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