Mistreatment of Animals - Concerns at Jungle Safari - WEEK.com: Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

Mistreatment of Animals - Concerns at Jungle Safari

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Jungle Safari, a traveling zoo that has been owned and operated by Robert Engsser for 35 years, has found its newest home at the Friendship Festival in Canton from the 12th to the 15th of September. Those we spoke to Thursday who have seen the animals describe what they saw as depressing. Canton resident and festival attendee Jeremy Kruzan said he has never seen anything like it.

''That's not right ya know, I just wish someone would come in and help them, ya know, save the animals or something because it just isn't right."

The owner says he is met with this criticism where ever he goes. One of the common issues people have with the business of animals in captivity.
"Unfortunately some people if they see an animal in a cage or in any inclosure at all its taboo to them and I can appreciate the fact that they are entitled to their own opinion. But the animals, the little guys have been raised by us and we've handled and worked with the little ones as they've grown up.

Over the past two decades Jungle Safari has been cited nearly 30 times by the USDA under the Animal Welfare Act for citations ranging from excessive dirt in the food preparation areas, psychological distress, and outdated medications for the animals. In regards to the citations he said that his company has always followed the orders of the USDA.

"Well that's over a period of well over 20 some years. Anytime there is a citation or actually it's a non compliance we've corrected it and will continue to do so."

He said this number of citations is not uncommon for his type of work and that he has fixed every citation put on his business.

"I have never payed a fine for the USDA for a citation."

Knowing nothing but the life with Jungle Safari, he said that the animals are well taken care of and treated like family.

The President of the Friendship Festival, Austin Tarter,  released a statement that said:

"We wanted to bring a new experience to the community event this year.Jungle Safari has been great to work with so far during the festival and is up to USDA regulations or they would not have been asked to the festival." 

For more information about the USDA Animal Welfare Act :  https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/animalwelfare/!ut/p/z1/04_iUlDg4tKPAFJABpSA0fpReYllmemJJZn5eYk5-hH6kVFm8T7-Js6GTsEGQNrVycDRNcjc19XV08jA3ETfSz8Kv4KC7EBFAG-D7Zw!/

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