CLAY CENTER, Kan. (KSNT)– Video of animals at the Clay Center Zoo, taken by Jaida Anderlik and posted to her facebook page, shows what she calls “mistreatment” of the animals.
The video shows animals pacing in their cages at the zoo and has been shared on Facebook more than 1,000 times. Anderlik was visiting the zoo from Overland Park, Kansas, when she shot the video.
“When I went to the zoo and saw the condition that the animals are kept in, I was shocked and horrified, and angry above all,” Anderlik said.
Scott Glaves is Superintendent of the Clay Center Zoo. He said he knows the spaces are small for the animals, but Clay Center has actually saved a lot of these animals.
“I can understand it, yeah, that it is a smaller, confined space, but a lot of our animals here, we’ve rescued from somewhere else,” Glaves said.
Anderlik said the cages do not replicate the natural environment of an animal at all and are more like tiny prison cells.
Brendan Wiley is with the Topeka Zoo and said the environment an animal is placed in can have a big affect on their behaviors.
“You really do need to take the mental well being of the animals that we care for, that we work with, into account,” Wiley said.
However, Wiley said that cage size isn’t always the biggest concern.
“It’s not always how big it is, but it’s how stimulating it is for the animal and the different things we can do for them,” Wiley said.
The Clay Center Zoo is making changes. They are starting renovations based only on donations. They have $481,000 in to upgrade their facilities.
“We know our enclosures, its not natural habitat, and that’s what we want. Some grass and some natural rocks and that’s what we’re in the process of doing,” Glaves said.
Glaves noted that the Clay Center Zoo is in alignment with regulations set by the United States Department of Agriculture.
He also said he commented on the Facebook post by Anderlik with his phone number to encourage people to call him with questions and concerns. As of Friday night, he’d received no phone calls.
You can view the post by Jaida Anderlik by clicking here.