Exotic Animal Park Is A Disaster Waiting To Happen (Video)

GW Exotic Animal Park in central Oklahoma has 200 tigers and more than 1,000 other animals. Its owner, Joe Schreibvogel, has been in the news many times for running a substandard zoo and allowing dangerous interactions between children and baby tigers. But Schreibvogel’s recent erratic behavior before Ohio lawmakers has advocates worried that GW Exotic is a disaster waiting to happen.

Joe Schreibvogel traveled to Ohio in April 2012 to lobby against Senate Bill 310, the bill to restrict private ownership of dangerous animals kept in captivity. The bill is a result of the Zanesville animal disaster that left 49 exotic animals slaughtered and the owner of the facility, Terry Thompson dead.

Schreibvogel told legislators that Terry Thompson was “murdered by animal advocates to advance an agenda to ban private ownership of dangerous exotic pets.” In truth Thompson released the wild animals and shot himself. Schreibvogel also said if he was faced with a similar situation he would act as Thompson did.

Sensing urgency with GW Exotic, the Humane Society of the United States has been conducting an undercover investigation into the animal park since last summer.

Here are some of their findings:

  • At least five tigers died at the facility during the investigation – two had been sick for months and a 6-week-old cub being raised inside the GW owner’s home sustained head injuries and had to be euthanized.
  • In August 2011, according to GW’s assistant park manager, three people suffered tiger bites at a fair, including one child whose bite became infected.
  • On Sept. 3, 2011, a tiger reportedly bit a young girl on her leg during the “play cage” portion of a tour.
  • On Sept. 11, 2011, a tiger cub scratched a young child while the child was posing for a picture.
  • On Sept. 17, 2011, a 20-week-old tiger named Dre knocked down and bit a small child. GW’s park manager told staff that the boy was bitten and scratched and that he would be bruised but that he (the manager) had “smoothed things over” with the mother and had her “sign the papers.” The next day, the same tiger was used for photo shoots at GW and photographers posed a small child bottle feeding the tiger.

“GW Exotics may have more dangerous exotic animals than any other roadside zoo in the nation—with approximately five times as many predators as the late Terry Thompson of Zanesville, Ohio,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States. “At this facility, children are allowed to play with tigers as if they are domestic kittens, rather than wild cats soon to mature into the some of the world’s most lethal carnivores.”

HSUS has filed complaints with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service asking for an official investigation.



Related Stories:

Ohio Officials To Return Exotic Animals To Zanesville Widow

Who’s Killing The Canine Family Of Tuffy, The NCSU Mascot?

Orangutan Caught In Snare Get Lifesaving Surgery


Photo Credit: orchidgalore


Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson5 years ago

so sad. these wild animals are just that .. WILD ANIMALS. they don't belong in "play cages" and they aren't cute props for pictures. They are animals who need a safe environment where they can be themselves, as nature intended

Xil L.
Xil L5 years ago

end wildlife trade!

Elizabeth C.
Katie C5 years ago

Why does America allow this? Allowing private ownership of animals fuels the black market in animal trade, meaning that America is assisting in the trafficking of animals to ALL countries, including China, where the animals are murdered for use in medicines which have been proven to be medically useless.

Just stop it. Get endangered species out of people's back yards in America and into licensed facilities where the appropriate care and supervision can be given, and stop giving traffickers a reason to kidnap wild animals from where they should exist.

Needless to say that any facility is almost completely open to supplying cubs and young animals into the canned hunting parks, which in every civilised country in the world, is totally unacceptable.

Robin snackers
Robin snackers5 years ago

they have to take the animals away and forbid him to ever own any animal

Gillian Stone
Gillian Stone5 years ago

This makes me mad as hell but also feel despair. As long as they can see the ‘kitty kitty’ the patrons are turning a blind eye to the appalling conditions. Anyone paying money to see wild animals living in such an unnatural habitat needs to be educated. These beautiful creatures do not deserve to live in these small cages, not a blade of grass or trees. Cannot see any evidence of habitat enrichment programs. The inhumane way the horse was slaughtered alone should see this dreadful place shut down immediately. The government enforcers overseeing wild animal parks need to be re-educated and do their job!! BTW these are wild animals, calling them ‘exotic’ is crap as it disguises their natural instincts and if the animals put one foot wrong when being handled they are the ones to pay the price for human stupidity and greed.

Deborah F.
Deborah F5 years ago


Tricia Hamilton
Tricia Hamilton5 years ago

Why are there billions of people on earth and we can't stop this crud?

Carrie Anne Brown

horrible, hope all the animals get removed before its too late, thanks for sharing

Dominic C.
Dominic C5 years ago

The Federal Government (Department of Environment) should step in and release all these animals to zoos or sanctuaries where there are professionals to look after these animals. Definitely, this park is only time-bomb and when the owner can no longer able to sustain them you find that these animals have to be freed. Animal advocates can also take GW Exotic Animal Park to Court for animal abuse and overpopulation in inhabitable caging conditions.

Tanja P.
Tanja P.5 years ago

Lisa L. That fb-page was set up by Joe himself on the very same day HSUS exposed his petting zoo of terror. That's not very assuring :'D