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Wildlife park under the microscope again after the monkey loses parts of the body, lion cub dies

The wild Wilderness Drive Through Safari in Gentry, Arkansas.

(Google Street View)

A wildlife park in Arkansas could lose the permit or face fines after a lion cub accidentally hung himself, and a monkey lost fingertips. This is the third offense since 2008, to the Wild Wilderness Drive Through Safari in Gentry.

The manager said that the park works to solve problems revealed in a USDA complaint filed this year.

The report shows how the lion cub died after attempting to jump over a fence while attached to the leash when the manager stepped away to take a phone call. Also the spider monkey suffer as a result of freezing, and lists of other violations, including a baboon chewing off his tail and not (good) the staff of the park on two different occasions.

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More than 60 different violations between 2012 and 2016 are included in the complaint.

Tanya Espinosa, a spokesperson of the MINISTRY of agriculture, said that the company will have to respond to the complaint and a judge will decide on further action.

“The Administrative law Judge may assess a monetary penalty and determine whether it is appropriate to suspend or revoke the license,” Espinosa said in an e-mail to Fox News.

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Leon Wilmoth, manager of the 400-acre facility that provides for 886 animals admitted to the problems in the park, but says that he is working on improvements.

“If you’re in the Gentry, someone has a cut finger? Or have they stepped on a nail a bit, or is one of them got the flu?”

Wilmoth told the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Newspaper “It is virtually the same, but it is our responsibility to take care of these animals. And they paint the picture that we do not take care of these animals.”

Wilmoth also took responsibility for the 2013 death of a lion cub.
“It made me sick. I take full responsibility for. There was no intent to hurt that lion.”

The safari park already paid $3,094 fine for violations in 2008 and was warned in 2012 for violations of regulations of the government. The park was also a fine in 1998 and twice in 2002, the Democrat Gazette added. A lawsuit filed against the park in 2005 was settled.

Wilmoth dismissed the threat of losing its operating licence from
the USDA.

“If they shut us down, what will they do with all
these animals?” he told the newspaper. “The only reason why we have a USDA license is, because we are open to the public. If you are not open to the public, you do not have USDA license.”

He also noted that a recent visit of an inspector who, on 1 February, the dirty water bowls if the only problem with the park.

Fox News reaches the wild Wilderness Inc. and the company’s lawyer for comment but did not receive a reply.

Willie James Inman, is a Fox News multimedia reporter based in Jackson, Mississippi. Follow him on twitter: @WillieJames

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