WYNNEWOOD, OK - Federal authorities have now joined the investigation into a Garvin County exotic animal park. The park's owner says he is been getting death threats and wants authorities to arrest whoever is responsible.
The G.W. Exotic Animal Park in Wynnewood is no stranger to controversy.
"We have been receiving a lot of phone call death threats," Park owner Joe Schreibvogel said. "Yesterday we got a death threat in the mail, which is funny because they put their return address on it."
"Joe Schreibvogel has a history, well know before any HSUS investigator walked into that facility of allowing private citizens, patrons, tourists to interact with his animals," President of Humane Society of the United States Wayne Pacelle said.
Last week, First News reported the HSUS filed complaints of animal abuse against the G.W. Exotic Animal Park, after one of their staff went undercover as a park employee.
Monday, an FBI agent and Garvin County Sheriff Larry Rhodes paid Schreibvogel a visit.
"We met with Joe yesterday morning, myself and an agent of the FBI, we had a real good visit with Joe," Rhodes said. "Joe did turn over some items to the FBI and he visited with me on several allegations of threats and harrassment that he has been receiving."
Screibvogel said he not only welcomes the investigators to his park but encourages them to take a look into how he says the HSUS damaged his reputation.
"They left with enough evidence to show that the Humane Society of the United Staes are the only two people beating tigers, were their employees," Schreibvogel said.
"We are going into this investigation meeting with Joe and talking with others very open minded," Rhodes said. "First, we certainly want to make sure no crimes have been committed here in Garvin County and if so, we want those investigated fully and thoroughly."
Rhodes said during yesterday's meeting with Screibvogel both he and the FBI agent got a good feel for the exotic animal facility and how it was set up.
He said he believes the park is safe for patrons.