Natural Bridge Zoo Has State Permit Suspended
IDA’s #1 Worst Zoo for 2014 Under Fire
We’re so happy to announce a victorious and encouraging step for Asha, the lone elephant, and the many other animals at the Natural Bridge Zoo, in rural Virginia. IDA’s contention that this zoo is a “roadside atrocity”, deserving of our #1 Worst Zoo for Elephants spot for 2014 was further confirmed last week when the state of Virginia pulled the zoo’s exhibition permit. More importantly – the sign is down, the zoo is closed to the public, and action is being taken. But we now have to take steps to see that these animals are sent to certified sanctuaries swiftly enough to ensure their survival!
The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries has suspended the zoo’s permit to exhibit wild animals. The zoo was planning to open its doors to the public this past Saturday, but a scathing USDA inspection released in January found 31 violations of the Animal Welfare Act, with another 13 violations cited on a second visit just last month. The USDA is conducting its own investigation separate from its standard inspection process. That investigation could lead to a hearing before an administrative law judge, who would have the power to suspend or revoke the zoo’s license. Even the state Assistant Attorney General said, “This is a bad zoo”.
The zoo’s owner had blamed IDA and other animal protection organizations for lifting the veil hiding his zoological horrors. But with three online petitions calling out owner, Karl Mogensen, for his decades of animal cruelty, 200,000 signatures are speaking up for Asha and the other animals held captive in these deplorable conditions. There are officials to thank and we will – soon. But for now Asha and the other animals there need us to ensure that they will finally be freed from their nightmare.
To learn more about next steps, visit:
For more background information, see:
For continued information about Asha the elephant, please contact IDA’s Elephant Scientist, Dr. Toni Frohoff at email@example.com.