Oklahoma animal park owner asserts problems in USDA warning have been corrected

The owner of Tiger Safari animal park in Tuttle says he has addressed eight infractions listed in a warning from the U.S. Department of Agriculture against the private zoo in central Oklahoma.
BY SHEILA STOGSDILL, For The Oklahoman Modified: June 25, 2014 at 11:54 pm •  Published: June 25, 2014
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photo - Tiger Safari owner Bill Meadows holds his new gibbon apes Teeka, left, and Marley.
Tiger Safari owner Bill Meadows holds his new gibbon apes Teeka, left, and Marley.

The private animal park is home to 160 animals and reptiles, including 23 large cats, two bears, four kangaroos, 12 lemurs and a capuchin monkey, he said.

In regard to the warning about a lack of heating, Meadows said it was during a hard cold spell in February and the temperature outside was 10 degrees, while the temperature in the animal shelter registered at different locations between 32 to 39 degrees.

The standard is 45 degrees, according to the warning notice.

Meadows explained the lack in record keeping was the reason the park was written up for failure to provide environmental enhancement for the primates.

“We are an interactive zoo,” Meadows said. “Because (the one-on-one interaction) wasn’t documented on a day-to-day log we were written up for it.”

Meadows said an online tourism site lists the park as the top attraction in Tuttle. A review of the park on TripAdvisor.com showed the park received 142 reviews, with 20 reviews listing the park negatively.

Meadows blames the recent negative publicity on the national Humane Society and animal activist groups. They want to cut out private ownership and private zoos, he said.

>>Read: Tiger Safari in Tuttle goes ape for rare gibbons (Published Sept. 21, 2013)

>>Read: Oklahoma couple finds passion in caring for exotic animals (Published Aug. 24, 2010)

>>Read: Oklahoma couple shares pool with swimming orangutan (Published Aug. 24, 2010)

>>Read: Animal park prepares to open (Published July 8, 2003)

>>Read: Tiger Safari owner heads to Africa (Published May 8, 2007)