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  2. RSPCA ends probe at 'improved' South Lakes Safari Zoo - BBC News
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If there are zebra mussels in that lake, they have very likely attached to your boat. Before moving it to another lake, decontaminate it. Call us at for guidance. History is the highlight at Fort Richardson, but even if today's travelers aren't settling the West, many still come to pitch tents and blaze trails. Richard Heilbrun reaches a wide and diverse audience as an urban biologist. The hottest sport to hit the south these days isn't on the field, it's in the water. Check out these high school fishing teams and the kids that cast. Catch your catfish close to home at Neighborhood Fishin' lakes and ponds.

Help your kid hook a keeper! Find a lake near you. If you fish with bait shrimp, it's illegal to use anything but native shrimp from the Gulf. Imported shrimp can carry a virus that can kill our native shrimp, crayfish and crabs. Shrimp from any other country or any non-Gulf state is considered imported, and it cannot be used as bait.

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Familiarize yourself with common imported shrimp and the 4 acceptable types of bait shrimp. If you buy frozen bait shrimp, check the origin on the package. Despite these setbacks, Gill opened another zoo, in Queensland, Australia, in But the acre Mareeba Wild Animal Park shut just five months later, after Queensland authorities, flanked by a TV crew, carried out a dawn raid , looking for evidence of animal cruelty and permit breaches.

RSPCA ends probe at 'improved' South Lakes Safari Zoo - BBC News

The zoo went into receivership for two years and eventually found another buyer. In Britain, he landed back on his feet. In August , an escaped South American goat was captured using a tranquilliser dart after it wandered into a garden. In , a fire killed 30 lemurs. In , after the zoo recorded its busiest year ever 60, visitors in a month , Gill received planning permission to expand. He should have been watched more closely.

It seems he was given free rein. Husband describes what happened after Gill abandoned Mareeba. He left without paying the local people who had built the zoo. But they were amazing. They organised themselves into a base of volunteers [to keep the zoo open]. They helped provide food; farmers would provide meat.

So how, despite so many failures and warnings, did South Lakes zoo stay open? Barrow borough council, which repeatedly reissued its licence, does not respond.

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I call three times in two days. In May , Fiona McClay was on holiday in her native Scotland, when her sister, who she was with, began getting messages on her phone. A member of staff was trying to find me on Facebook. She was told her daughter had been seriously injured and was unconscious. She had been airlifted to Preston hospital. The sisters drove as fast as they could, but by the time they reached her, Sarah had died. Gill told the press she had made an unwise and baffling mistake.

It took three years for the truth to come out at inquest: Sarah was in a staff corridor next to the tiger enclosure when the tiger attacked and mauled her — a bolt on a gate was defective.

South Lakes Wild Animal Park Bed and Breakfast, Cheap Hotel and Guest House Accommodation

McClay has a picture of Sarah on the swings at the zoo as a child; South Lakes was the job of her dreams. She studied conservation science at university and had been working at the zoo for two years when she died. She heard nothing from Gill when her daughter died, she says. Gill denies this, and says in his recollection, she was contacted by him. She now campaigns for changes in zoo legislation. The food was inadequate. On a daily basis, I had to go down to the supermarkets to pick up out-of-date leftovers.

The baboons were being fed Danish pastries and other cakes, and all the bread left behind in the rhino enclosure. The birds would get dog biscuits. When I threw out some rotting ham and eggs, another member of staff rummaged through the bins and reported me for wasting food. Three tortoises died during his short tenure, including Goliath, the one who was electrocuted.

I tried to explain tortoises need very high temperatures and UV. The former keeper says he never saw evidence of vaccination or worming treatments. A dead reindeer was fed to the big cats. Lemurs would access the tiger enclosure and get killed. The former employee remembers seeing Schreiber carrying out a postmortem on an antelope in the meat prep area. Staff with no training, no clue. The enclosures were filthy. It was depressing. Pablo was stitched up a bit and put in a separate area, but they just left him there for days.

He died of septicaemia. Death becomes the norm. I speak to another whistleblower, this time on the record. Potter started out as a volunteer a couple of days a week, helping clean paths and other odd jobs.


It felt like a dream when South Lakes then hired him to work full-time as an animal carer: preparing food for the animals in the mornings, dealing with pest control in the afternoons. It turned out she was pregnant. She had her baby recently, and that baby is now dead after being removed from its mother at a few days old.

The Fine Print

The animal deaths at the zoo are still continuing under the new management, including the adult male babirusa, a mongoose, leopard tortoise, scarlet ibis, rhea and an emaciated penguin. Potter says he was also forced to supplement the food supply from local supermarkets. Potter is speaking on the phone from his car. He and his wife are stuck in traffic on the motorway with all their belongings.

Going on the record was a huge risk — South Lakes staff are contractually banned from even taking photographs on site — but Potter is in a chipper mood, relieved at finally having talked. In his two years there, 10 keepers left the zoo.

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I went to management and pushed as much as I could. Potter describes a chaotic atmosphere. The ones who are more highly prized are the ones they can make money from — lemurs, camels, giraffes that the public pay to hand-feed. Potter disputes this. Word is getting round. Another former member of staff wants to talk, as long as she can remain anonymous.

She worked as an animal carer for several months in You could see the animals wasting away in front of you; they were malnourished and full of infections.

The hippos had such dry skin it was cracking, but David Gill said that was natural in the wild. We wanted to bathe them, but he closed the indoor pool. Like a toilet. The hippo pool would be cleaned only once every 12 months, before the yearly inspections. The inspections would only last for two hours anyway. The experience has thrown her confidence in working with animals.

Why is it so hard to regulate zoos? Licences are granted only after a formal local authority inspection; the team must include one or more Defra-approved inspectors. Once open, all zoos are inspected annually by inspectors appointed by the local authority. A separate report by the Born Free foundation points to widespread regulatory failure, with only a quarter of zoos maintaining animal welfare standards. No public body will take responsibility.

It is clear that the problems at the zoo developed, to all intents and purposes unchecked, over a very long period, and now the council consider it sufficient to ensure the safety of the animals, staff and visitors by simply switching to a new licence holder. I am utterly disgusted. An independent review of the zoo licensing system is long overdue. A few days later, I try again: my 11th call.