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Join the Movement to Protect Zoo Animals

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Sponsor: The Animal Rescue Site

Zoos play an important role in conserving wildlife and educating the public, but it is imperative that the animals in their care are protected from those who seek to steal or harm them. Take action for animals!


There has been a disturbing increase in crimes against zoo animals in the United States. The latest instance occurred at the Dallas Zoo, where two emperor tamarin monkeys were illegally taken and other animal habitats were allegedly tampered with1.

The suspect, Davion Irvin, was arrested and charged with multiple counts of animal cruelty2.

This is not an isolated incident. A lappet-faced vulture was also found dead at the Dallas Zoo under suspicious circumstances, and there have been similar incidents at the Houston Zoo, where the fence to the brown pelican habitat was deliberately cut3.

The tamarin monkeys were recovered unharmed and placed in quarantine after being found in an abandoned home in Lancaster, Texas4. A clouded leopard named Nova was also found near her habitat after going missing from her enclosure and suffering from intentional cuts5. Meanwhile, the langur monkeys were observed to have a similar cut to their enclosure, but none had escaped.

These incidents have prompted increased security measures at zoos across the country, including the San Antonio Zoo, which is working closely with local law enforcement to ensure the safety of their animals6.

Unfortunately, these measures are reactive, and do not address the root of the problem. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the governing body that accredits zoos, must take a proactive approach and mandate stronger protections and safeguards to ensure the welfare of zoo animals. That's why we're calling on the AZA to make it a requirement of accreditation that zoos implement stronger measures to protect their animals.

Sign the petition today and help us protect zoo animals in the United States!

More on this issue:

  1. Jamie Stengle, Associated Press (3 February 2023), "Police: Man arrested in taking of monkeys from Dallas Zoo."
  2. Kimberlee Speakman, People (3 February 2023), "Texas Police Officers Arrest 24-Year-Old Suspect in Tamarin Monkey Theft Case at Dallas Zoo."
  3. FOX 4 (2 February 2023), "Dallas Zoo making 'significant changes' to security."
  4. Dallas Zoo, Twitter (1 February 2023), "Emperor tamarin monkeys update."
  5. Charmaine Patterson, People (13 January 2023), "Dallas Zoo 'Thrilled' to Find Clouded Leopard, Nova, Hours After She Went Missing."
  6. Sarah Duran, KENS5 (8 February 2023), "San Antonio Zoo increasing security after rise in crimes at zoos in Texas."
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The Petition:

To the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums,

We, the undersigned, are concerned about the rise in zoo crime and the safety of animals at accredited zoos. Recent incidents at zoos in Texas and across the country have highlighted the need for greater security measures to protect animals and ensure their welfare.

As an organization dedicated to promoting the highest standards in animal care and welfare, we respectfully request that greater security measures be made a requirement of AZA accreditation. This would include measures such as improved fencing and surveillance, as well as regular security assessments to ensure the safety of animals and their habitats.

We believe that the safety of animals should be a top priority for zoos, and that this can only be achieved through effective and proactive security measures. By requiring these measures as part of AZA accreditation, we can help to ensure that animals are protected and secure, and that zoos are able to provide a safe and enjoyable experience for visitors.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. We look forward to your response and hope that you will support this important cause.

Sincerely,

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Signatures: