OSHA Enforces Against G.W. Exotic Animal Park After Animal Legal Defense Fund Complaint

Posted on April 24, 2014

Federal Agency Fines Oklahoma Animal Park for Violation of Worker Safety Laws

For immediate release:

Lisa Franzetta, ALDF
Megan Backus, ALDF


Tiger from GW exotic animal park in Oklahoma. Taken on November 23, 2007. (CC Max and Dee Stark)

Wynnewood, Okla. — The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited and fined a Wynnewood roadside zoo known as G.W. Exotic Animal Park for several serious violations of worker safety laws. The national nonprofit Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) sent a formal complaint requesting enforcement to OSHA on December 18, 2013, after a park employee was mauled by a tiger late on October 5, 2013 and nearly lost her arm. OSHA began its investigation of the facility two days after receiving ALDF’s letter, noting a lack of barriers between the employees and captive wild animals and other inadequate worker protections. Additional violations include not providing adequate communications of hazardous chemical exposure. These violations resulted in a legal citation and a $5200 proposed penalty, issued March 31, 2014. However, OSHA has since lowered the penalty to $2400.

Undercover investigations by other animal groups suggest that dozens of tiger cubs have died in the care of G.W. Exotic Animal Park, and animals have been routinely and violently assaulted by workers when fights erupt from incompatible animals being caged together. The investigations also indicate premature removal of infants from mothers, inadequate care of pain, and inappropriate behavior such as giving lit cigarettes to primates. Park operator Joe Schreibvogel has previously been fined $25,000 for nearly 200 violations of the Animal Welfare Act.

“Worker safety professionals everywhere should thank groups like ALDF for looking out for employees as well as for animal welfare,” according to Dr. Adam Finkel, formerly OSHA’s chief enforcement official in the Rocky Mountain states. “Shortly after OSHA issued these citations, the DC Circuit court ruled in a case against SeaWorld that OSHA clearly has the authority to insist that workers be protected from dangerous animals.”

“ALDF congratulates OSHA on its swift enforcement against this horrific park” said Stephen Wells, executive director of the Animal Legal Defense Fund. “Not only are workers and visitors repeatedly injured, but the animals at this roadside sham are miserably mistreated.”

Copies of ALDF’s complaint and OSHA’s citations are available by request.

17 thoughts on “OSHA Enforces Against G.W. Exotic Animal Park After Animal Legal Defense Fund Complaint

  1. Jacqueline Daly says:

    Animals should go to reputsble sanctuary. Fines should have been much higher.

  2. MammaMia says:

    Nothing has changed in 8 years and nothing WILL change during the next 8 years unless this place will be closed down! The employer doesn’t even take care of the workers or visitors’ safety! They had 4 serious violations and the penalty was only 2400 dollars? That’s insane. They should be put out of business. The best option for the animals would be to forbid them from breeding/trading/buying/”rescuing” more animals. They should only concentrate on the poor darlings suffering there right this moment instead of bringing even more unfortunate creatures there to suffer.

  3. Pamela Geier says:

    CLOSE IT DOWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Please have a heart and do the right thing by close this horrible excuse for an “Animal Park” for good and send the innocent lives to reputalbe sanctuary. Thank you,

  5. Nancy L. Pate says:

    All roadside attractions such as this should be closed. They are a thing of the past.

  6. Sharon Lawson says:

    Zoos should not exist animals belong in their natural habitats. Roadside Zoos belong in the past with Carnies,it’s ludicrous that beautiful animals live in this kind of hellholes.Archaic &ignorant eb people who visit or think these places r reasonable

  7. Corrina Faulkner says:

    Zoos are animal prisons. Close down the zoos and rehabilitate the animals. They do not deserve to be humiliated in this way.

  8. Lois Watson says:

    Save the Animals (4 legs).
    Close this torture chamber!!!
    These people should get mental assessment then sent to Phys. hospital for a Long Time.

  9. Josie Hampstead says:

    Animals should go to reputsble sanctuary~CLOSE IT DOWN.

  10. Petra Harris says:

    Close all zoos, they are prisons, the animals do not deserve this treatment. They were born free and they should remain free.

  11. Veronica Smith says:

    Don’t go to a circus cuz of the abuse, zoos aren’t any better. They belong in the wild.

  12. Lisa says:

    This man is a pos. Whrn I questioned him about his breeding practices. He weny off on me cussing me out then blocking me. This shit hole roadside attraction needs to be burn to the ground.

  13. Lisa says:

    This man is a pos. When I questioned him about his breeding practices. He went off on me cussing me out then blocking me. This shit hole roadside attraction needs to be burn to the ground.

  14. Garr Sanders says:

    It is disappointing and sad to hear that animals are being mistreated. Caging animals in the best of circumstances requires great care for the safety of both animal and keeper; and here there are animals being caged together. Incompatible animals at that are being caged together and then wonder and don’t know why the animal brake out in fights. Come on here this zoo is despicable in it’s treatment of the animals. Please even if your not going to punish these people for acts of cruelty please do not deny the animals the right to live in safe and humane quarters. Remember these animals have been taken out of their natural habitat and placed in an enclosed area. No matter how diverse and vast the environment provided there still needs to be competent and caring people running thing. I see no such qualities at a place where baby animals are taken from their mothers way too soon. Or were animals in pain are overlooked, or ignored. Animals are sentient beings. Sentient beings have the ability to feel not just physical pain, but emotional pain and disorders. Disorders brought about the aforementioned practise of removing baby animals from their mothers too soon, or from experiencing neglect, and or mistreatment. Growing, and aging, thinking, feeling beings require better care then is being provided. This very much needed to be remedied.

  15. Rob Smith says:

    ” 200 violations of the Animal Welfare Ac”

    Yes he’s still in business? Why?

  16. Luz Gonzales says:

    This man uses these animals for his own personal gain. He claims that they are “my life” but he uses them to further his “country music” career (By the way, listen to videos of him “singing” and listen to his speaking voice. Nowhere near the same, and if he was truly a “country music artist”, why isn’t he using that “talent” to perform and raise money for his embattled “exotic animal park”? No one has ever heard or seen him “perform” live). Studio time and the making of videos is not cheap. Watch the undercover videos about him too. Why this creep is still in business is beyond me.

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