Please LEVY a MAXIMUM FINE against the Forest Park Zoo for their blatant disregard of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) when their negligence allowed Dizzy, a guenon, to escape. This facility has also been cited for the death of at least one primate. This behavior must NOT be tolerated and MUST be punished with the maximum penalty allowed under the Animal Welfare Act.
SAEN Exposes Federal Violations at the
Forest Park Zoo
By Eva Zymaris, Fox10TV.com, June 24, 2016
After his great adventure in the canopy of Forest Park, Dizzy the monkey
is safely back in his cage and reunited with his mate.
While zoo officials and park-goers are excited to see the end of this monkey mayhem, a non-profit watchdog group has filed an official complaint against the zoo.
Friday was a busy day at the zoo. The park with flooded with families, wanting to see Dizzy.
However, the group Stop Animal Exploitation Now is calling for a federal
fine, citing several other incidents these past few years.
"We're glad he's back. Everyone's glad he's back," said Fred Osetek of South Hadley.
Osetek took his young granddaughter to the Zoo in Forest Park to see Dizzy, just one day after the monkey was captured and returned to his enclosure.
"We came here with our granddaughter, so we wanted to make sure she could see Dizzy after his advenutre," said Osetek.
The primate, who garnered quite the following these past few days, made a break for it Tuesday afternoon after he managed to get out of his cage.
Dizzy was given a mild tranquilizer Thursday afternoon and fell into the arms of his zookeepers.
"I was amazed. I couldn't get over he was able to get out," Osetek noted.
Signs are now posted throughout the zoo and on Dizzy's exhibit welcoming him back, but no one is happier to see him than his mate, Mitzy.
"Mitzy has been grooming him and in return, he's been grooming her," said Darlene Blaney, business manager at the Zoo at Forest Park.
Meanwhile, a non-profit watchdog group has filed an official complaint against the zoo with the USDA.
Stop Animal Exploitation Now is calling for a federal fine, citing several other incidents at the zoo.
"People are entitled to their opinion and they're entitled to do what they need to do," Blaney noted.
This group claims the zoo violated multiple federal regulations and is calling for an investigation into the number of primate deaths in the winter of 2015, when two monkeys died - one those occurring after a circuit breaker tripped, knocking out power and heat to the monkey's shed.
"When we had the other monkey incident, the MSPCA went on record to say they didn't find everything and it was up to snuff," Blaney added.
The group is calling for the maximum federal penality of $10,000 per infraction or per animal.
However, Blaney maintains they're inspected by the USDA and are up-to-code.
"We welcome anyone to come in and take a look at the zoo to see what we do, to see how we care for the animals," Blaney said.
Zoo officials are now working closely with one another to ensure improvements are made to the cage and their safety procedures.
"We'll be reviewing our safety protocol to make sure all the steps when we're cleaning the exhibit are taken," Blaney said.
They will do all that they can to make sure one of their beloved animals doesn't take a page from Dizzy's playbook and make a great escape.
"We're going to put everything in place that we can to make sure that it doesn't happen again," Blaney noted.
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