Humane Society accuses Wynnewood animal park of abuse

By: Sara Humphrey Email
By: Sara Humphrey Email

WYNNEWOOD, OK--An activist working undercover at a Garvin County exotic animal park is accusing the owner of animal abuse, and says he has the video to prove it.

The owner says he's being attacked.

The GW Exotic Animal Park is one of Oklahoma's biggest tourist attractions, and according to the park's owner, Joe Schriebvogel, it's the largest exotic animal facility in the world.

The park is home to over 1000 non-native animals but is now under fire after a staff member of the Humane Society of the United States went undercover as a park employee last summer.

"We have got a situation spiraling out of control and dead tigers are piling up," a member of the Humane Society, says, "Both employees and children in the park were injured on multiple occasions by the tigers."

HSUS has filed a formal complaint against the park after claiming the undercover investigator witnessed abuse, questionable breeding practices and unsafe handling of deadly animals.

"What we are seeing at this place is constant breeding of animals. He is just accumulating more and more dangerous exotics. Oklahoma needs to pass legislation to stop this reckless breeding of animals," the society, says.

"There are two goals behind what is happening here. One is to discredit us, two is their donate button. Their donate button today is going mad because people who don't know me and have never been here, don't know any better and don't know who the HSUS is," Schriebvogel, says.

Schreibvogel denies these allegations and believes the animal rights group is just trying to get back at him for speaking out against the group during last fall's tragic incident in Zanesville, Ohio when animals escaped a privately owned park and the owner allegedly commited suicide.

"I went the last three weeks and testified in front of the senate of Ohio because of the Terry Thompson tragedy in Ohio where the animals all got let out and he killed himself. First of all I don't believe he killed himself. I believe he was murdered for this agenda."

According to the Humane Society, "This is a pattern we see when people get in over their heads, not having enough resources to care for their larger and ever larger number of animals at the facility. It is unsafe. There is going to be a very bad outcome in the end."


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