Target: T. M. Franklin Cownie, Mayor of Des Moines, Iowa
Goal: Praise the transfer of 31 animals from poor conditions in a mall zoo to sanctuary and rescue facilities
Wild animals from a cramped mall zoo in Des Moines will be relocated to more suitable habitats, according to a court order removing the animals from the facility’s custody. The 31 animals, including bears, foxes, and coyotes will be taken in by sanctuaries, rescue groups, and zoos where they can enjoy an improved quality of life for their remaining years.
A bobcat, a lynx, a coyote, a cougar, and various foxes and wolves will be transported to Colorado’s Wild Animals Sanctuary. World of Reptiles will take in an alligator and some snakes, while the city will care for a barn owl, a hawk, and a skunk. Protection group Animal Rescue League will provide a temporary home for a porcupine, an armadillo, an opossum and a raccoon until permanent accommodations are found.
A court ordered the mall zoo closed after several public complaints about the lack of space given to the animals. Some had visible muscle loss due to being unable to play, exercise, or engage in normal animal behaviors in their enclosures, which were a small fraction of the area they generally need in the wild.
When the animals were placed in the city’s care, officials had the option to euthanize them. Rather than taking the easy route, the city worked to ensure that all the animals were relocated to facilities with the proper space and resources necessary to care for them.
The animals’ physical and mental health will benefit greatly from the improved conditions in their new homes. In many cases, the animals will also avoid the stress that comes with being on constant display at a mall. Sign the petition below to applaud Des Moines officials for ensuring that the mall zoo animals receive compassionate and considerate care.
Dear Mayor T. M. Franklin Cownie,
Over 30 wild animals have been moved to sanctuaries, zoos, and rescue operations across America following the closure of the Academy of Wildlife Education, a miniature zoo in a Des Moines Mall. The rescued animals included wolves, foxes, an alligator, an owl, and various wild cats.
The animals, which the city chose to move rather than euthanize, will enjoy improved health and happiness with more space to roam and play. We, the undersigned, commend your efforts to find good homes for the animals.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Keven Law via Creative Commons