Southern Indiana wildlife park fined for violations including improper euthanization of llama
PAOLI, Ind. (WAVE) - A wildlife park in Paoli, Indiana is facing multiple violations of the Animal Welfare Act according to the United States Department of Agriculture.
Wilstem Wildlife Park is being fined $8,000 for four federal violations including the improper euthanization of a llama on property.
That violation occurred in early Feb. 2020, when the USDA said Wilstem personnel euthanized a llama by dropping it into a hole and “crushing its skull with an excavator bucket.”
USDA records also showed violations of perimeter fencing and housing facilities, with an instance reported in August of a kangaroo escaping its enclosure by hopping over a five-foot fence. The kangaroo was not found until two days later.
In May, records state the wildlife park identified three eland antelopes that escaped their enclosure and were loose on the grounds. Employees made an attempt to recapture the animals using a tranquilizer dart gun.
The sound of the dart gun frightened the animals and a female eland ran into a fence post and broke its neck. USDA said the method of recapture was not approved by the attending veterinarian.
The wildlife park commented on the llama euthanization on Tuesday night, saying proper protocols were not followed and corrective action was taken following the situation.
“After a suspension without pay and an internal investigation we parted ways with the employee,” Wilstem posted on its Facebook page Tuesday. “Since then, we have agreed and paid the fine of $8,000, been working closely with the USDA, and have received four inspections all of which resulted in zero violations.”
“We strongly encourage anyone to visit our facility to witness for yourselves the care and respect we show our animals,” the park added.
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