May 28th, 2013 by Nicole Meyer
In Defense of Animals’ Complaint Prompts Federal Warning To Woodland Park Zoo
Capture Caused Tragic Death Of Resident Monkey
Seattle, Wash. (May 28, 2013) – Following a complaint filed by In Defense of Animals (IDA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has determined that the Woodland Park Zoo is in violation of federal regulations in the February death of a patas monkey. IDA, an international animal protection organization, filed the complaint in March after a whistleblower leaked disturbing information about the brutal capture and subsequent euthanasia of the monkey named Kyle.
“IDA is pleased that the USDA took enforcement action against the Woodland Park Zoo, but it’s not enough. This incident was downright cruel and calls into question the zoo’s judgment, protocols, and expertise in the treatment of an animal who required special handling,” said IDA spokesperson Nicole Meyer. “IDA is calling on the zoo to take decisive steps to discipline the staff members responsible for causing Kyle’s injuries and prolonged suffering, and to ensure that this never happens again.”
According to the official warning issued on April 26, 2013, the USDA found evidence that the Woodland Park Zoo violated the Animal Welfare Act by failing to handle an animal in a manner that “does not cause trauma, overheating, excessive cooling, behavioral stress, physical harm or unnecessary discomfort.” A USDA inspection report states that Kyle was “severely injured in an attempt to capture the animal.”
The USDA’s findings confirm whistleblower reports that zoo staff caused life-threatening injuries in their capture of Kyle for an inter-zoo move. Kyle had just one arm and was noted as being “notoriously difficult to transfer” in clinical notes, obtained by IDA. A necropsy report confirms that Kyle suffered a severe compound leg fracture with an open skin wound, a fractured canine tooth, a traumatic brain injury, and extensive bruising. USDA investigation records also show that zoo staff failed to provide Kyle with medical attention or medication to alleviate his pain for 1½ hours before Kyle was examined at the hospital, despite attempts by keepers to call attention to signs of injury and shock.
“Taxpayers deserve to know what goes on behind the scenes at the Woodland Park Zoo,” said Meyer. “Thanks to this brave whistleblower, the trauma and prolonged suffering that Kyle endured at the hands of zoo staff is now a matter of public record and should serve as a foundation for improving zoo practices.”