An investigation is underway into the welfare of the animals at Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park – Joe Exotic‘s former zoo – after leaked footage showed tigers with fly-infested abrasions.
PETA received the footage from an anonymous tip, exposing the horrid conditions that the tigers allegedly live in. In one leaked image, a tiger’s ears are completely covered with flies. Other footage shows tigers with open cuts to their ears and forearms. (I haven’t included the footage for obvious reasons – it’s pretty damn gruesome – but, you can check it out here if you feel so inclined.)
According to PETA, the wounds are indicative of severe flystrike, a condition in which (STOP READING IF YOU GET QUEASY) flies bite into an animal’s skin and lay maggot-hatching eggs inside the wound.
The organisation has since called upon the United States Department of Agriculture to investigate Jeff Lowe, who’s now in charge of the tigers, amid concerns of animal neglect at the zoo.
“Veterinarians who observed the documentation have opined that the wounds would be extremely painful,” PETA released in a statement, “and that if the lions aren’t appropriately treated immediately, they risk losing their ears.”
“Enough is enough,” PETA’s Brittany Peet said, according to WKRN-TV. “It’s long overdue for authorities to step up, to close this place down and to confiscate the animals.”
Carole Baskin is set to take control of the zoo, following that long-winded lawsuit against Exotic.