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Updated: April 13, 2020
In the past, Natural Bridge Zoo (NBZ) in Virginia exploited baby tigers to use them in cub-petting schemes—charging upwards of $300 for people to take photos with vulnerable, sensitive cubs who had been torn away from their nurturing mothers—just like what is briefly shown in Netflix's Tiger King. NBZ has also shipped a litter of 1-week-old tigers to Bhagavan "Doc" Antle in South Carolina, likely to be used for the same purpose. Thankfully, with PETA's support, in April 2020, Virginia banned public contact with tigers, lions, primates, and bears—effectively ending cub-petting in the state when the law goes into effect on July 1, 2021.
Other animals still at NBZ are suffering and need our help.
Elephants can communicate using infrasonic waves that can travel underground for more than a mile—but Asha, who was taken from the wild as a baby and has suffered at NBZ for decades, hasn't been able to communicate or socialize with other elephants in years. When she's not being forced to give rides for hours in the sweltering summer heat, she's confined to a barn that has damp concrete flooring in the frigid winters. Join PETA and urge NBZ to retire her to an accredited sanctuary.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has cited NBZ for dozens of federal animal welfare violations, including failing to notice that a giraffe had a 4-inch crack in his hoof and failing to provide other giraffes with excessively overgrown hooves with adequate veterinary care. Giraffes spend most of their lives standing up—even sleeping and giving birth while standing—and the pain they can experience from cracked or overgrown hooves is unimaginable.
These animals have been subjected to a lifetime of confinement for the amusement of speciesist humans. Asha and all the other animals at NBZ deserve better—they should be moved to reputable facilities where they'll finally have the space, companionship, and care that they need. Please speak up for them today.