1-27-04 - High profile attacks involving big cats across the country have hit hard for a local animal park. The director of G.W’s Exotic Animal park in Wynnewood says the park is running out of funding and is on the brink of closing it's gates for good. Joe Schreibvogel says they could be out of business in as soon as two weeks if they don’t find other sources of income. The park has been in operation for 5 years, providing a sanctuary for hundreds of abused and neglected animals. Currently, 89 big cats live there and in the past the park has profited by allowing photo sessions with the animals. But since attacks in New York, Las Vegas and Texas, the USDA has made strict new guidelines that limit public contact with the animals. The food bill for the cats alone is $26,000 a year. Now Schreibvogel says if relief isn't found soon, the park could be forced to take drastic measures by trying to ship animals to other sanctuaries, or, in a worst case scenario, euthanize animals they can no longer afford to care for. The park is putting on a series of educational productions, featuring animals, which will be held in Lawton this weekend. For more information, you can call contact the park at 405-665-5197.
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