From January 2008 to June 2009, I worked for the Catoctin Zoo in Thurmond, MD. During my employment there, I witnessed incredible inhumane things. The part of the Zoo visible to the public eye was somewhat clean and seemed adequate living conditions for for animals. Behind the scenes was a very different story. There were several semi-trailers filled with bird cages, housing birds too large for the cages they lived out their lives in, with no sunlight, and no ventilation. The cages for some of the birds were 2ft in all directions, which is not adequate space for a large bird, such as a macaw or a cockatoo to spread out their wings entirely. The birds at this zoo were not the only victims. There was a building that housed 3 full grown sunbears that had no out door access. The one lived in a cage not much larger than a bedroom with concrete floors and a horse trough for her swimming pool/water source. The same size cage houses two of her full grown offspring, living in the same terrible conditions, but unable to interact with their mother.
The Zoo has a large population of fallow deer from Europe. These deer lived in a baron fenced in parking lot, void of all live vegetation. There was no form of birth control for these deer which meant over population. To correct for this problem, the owners of the Zoo decided the best option was to cull the herd after hours, which meant shooting them with a high powered rifle at close range. I hate to admit, but I witnessed one of these cullings. Several of the deer did not die right away which resulted in one of the Zoo employees having to slit their throats in order to ease their suffering for an ill aimed bullet.
These are only a few of the “behind the scenes” incidences of this horrific place. Please, do not allow this Zoo to thrive anymore by receiving support by being a public attraction. I have been trying since the day I left to get this place shut down due to their care of animals, but word of mouth only goes so far. Please sign this petition and help these animals go to a place that will properly care for them for the rest of their lives. They’ve been through so much already. They deserve their happy ending too.