Success: Reportedly Neglected Animals Rescued From Defunct Roadside Zoo

Target: Ingrid Newkirk, President of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)

Goal: Praise the rescue of reportedly mistreated animals from Sunrise Side Nature Trail and Exotic Park.

An investigation by USDA of a defunct roadside zoo in Michigan unveiled seemingly horrendous conditions of the animals and their habitats. It was apparently so unsanitary that one bear was taken away from the owners, yet the fate of the other animals remained unknown. This ForceChange petition highlights the conditions, and thanks to thousands of your signatures, the animals at this zoo will no longer suffer.

Owners James and Barbara Svoboda agreed to give PETA the other bear they had and some foxes. These animals were safely transferred to a sanctuary in Colorado, where they will receive actual veterinary care. An apparently malnourished lion was transported to a different zoo for treatment, while the bobcat, unfortunately, passed away. These were all the remaining animals, and the zoo has been permanently shut down. The owners are not allowed to obtain any more animals in the future.

Sign this petition to show appreciation for PETA’s efforts in closing this roadside zoo and saving the rest of the animals while they could.


Dear Ingrid Newkirk,

Roadside zoos across the country have proven to have various problems, including animal neglect. Sunrise Side Nature and Exotic is apparently no different. This defunct zoo already had a bear confiscated, but thanks to you the remaining animals are safe. The permanent closure of this zoo is a big win for animal lovers around the country.

Thank you for cooperating with the owners James and Barbara Svoboda to save these animals. They have seemingly proven they are unable to effectively run a zoo, and now they will not be able to acquire any more exotic animals. Your efforts are truly appreciated.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Wulf Willis


  1. Victoria Salter says:

    Thank you so incredibly much for all the good work you and the rest of PETA have ever done for the animals and everyone, Ingrid! I support and agree with the stance of PETA on most things. However, I disagree with prejudice against pit bulls, even though PETA have explained to me that they are not really anti-pit bull, just anti-dog fighting. I think PETA should clear this more and also take a stance against breedism against pit bulls, Staffies, Dobermans, Rottweilers and all other dogs, and also heavily promote the adoption of these breeds and types, along with all other dogs in shelters, pounds and rescues, and those who are being mistreated, neglected, living rough, laboratory dogs, etc.
    Also, I am opposed to PETA’s killing of healthy animals. Denying an animal their right to life for any unnecessary reason contradicts animal rights. I know PETA’s view is that it’s better than being warehoused in shelters and rescues that keep animals for years and years as they wait to find their new, loving homes, and that sometimes no-kill shelters and rescues have to turn away animals or not allow any new animals to come in, but what about rescue groups that are just made up of fosterers? Also, what about improved no-kill shelters with better facilities and better standards of care for the animals before they find them the best homes possible? Also, what about setting up new websites, online networks, groups and airing and distributing more TV, magazine and news adverts, flyers and using other promotional tools to help promote the PETA animals and get them adopted into good homes?

  2. Thank you PETA.
    I still have to wonder after all the exposes of these places who are the idiots who keep paying to see animals in so much distress.???

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