Kirshner Wildlife Foundation Flouts Animals’ Well-Being, Laws, and Safety: Act Today!

UN LAB Middleware Label: Title Ends

The Barry R. Kirshner Wildlife Foundation’s history is littered with abuse, attacks, escapes, fines for violating state and federal laws, and evidence of a chronic inability to meet even the country’s bare-minimum standards for animal care. Kirshner has been repeatedly cited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for failing to provide adequate veterinary care to animals, including a lynx who died after repeated seizures, a coatimundi with hair loss and a leg wound, several deer with overgrown hooves that were crossing and angling upward, and a liliger, a lion, and a deer with open wounds. California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health fined Kirshner after a leopard named Royal escaped and attacked a volunteer, who required hospitalization for puncture wounds to the neck. The USDA has also fined Kirshner over $5,000, a penalty the agency reserves for the worst violators.

Black bears naturally remain with their mothers for up to two years, and the maternal bond is essential to their development. But Kirshner has a long history of acquiring bear cubs who have been torn away from their mothers in order to get people to buy tickets to roadside zoos. Apparently, the facility prioritizes profits over the animals’ well-being, which is a clear example of speciesism—a human-supremacist worldview.

Since 2014, Kirshner has acquired at least 45 baby wild animals from breeders or other roadside zoo operators, including “Joe Exotic” of Tiger King infamy. More than 35 of these animals were under 6 months old when they were shipped to the facility, and some were as young as 2 weeks old. Kirshner has also sent young animals to notorious exotic-animal dealers, including Gregg Woody, who is known to send bears to slaughter.

Despite repeated instructions by the USDA and veterinarians, Kirshner has failed over and over again to provide big cat cubs with adequate veterinary care and an adequate diet, resulting in a condition called metabolic bone disease, which causes bone fractures, inability to walk, severe muscle weakness, and death. Shyra, a tiger cub born in 2023, and Lucie, a lion cub born in 2016, were found by inspectors to be severely lame, unable to walk, and suffering from bone deformities and fractures. From January 2021 to March 2024, the USDA issued Kirshner citations in 12 straight inspections for violating the federal Animal Welfare Act, including by dangerously allowing a volunteer to take a snow leopard to a juvenile detention center and failing to keep animals cool in scorching summer temperatures after an inspector observed leopards and tigers panting. Kirshner was issued an official warning for not having enough adequately trained staff.

Animals languish in the roadside zoo’s cramped, barren cages, and many of them are overweight, are in poor body condition, and exhibit behaviors indicating psychological distress, including bar-biting and pacing.

Please ask Roberta Kirshner to transfer all the animals to reputable facilities where they could live in large, naturalistic habitats and get the care they deserve.

Barry R. Kirshner Wildlife Foundation

Take Action Now!

Fields with an asterisk(*) are required. 

Sign me up for the following e-mail:

Get texts & occasional phone calls for Action Alerts, local events, & other updates to help animals with PETA! (optional)