Recently, NHES applauded Rockbridge County Circuit Judge Michael Irvine for refusing to allow the reopening of the Natural Bridge Zoo after the attraction was cited 44 times by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for animal welfare violations. Now, according to a recent news article, the Virginia Department of Inland Fisheries has reinstated The Natural Bridge Zoo’s permit, after having revoked it not 90 days prior.
Natural Bridge Zoo owner Karl Mogenson claims that in that brief period of time, he has “fixed” the abhorrent conditions that caused him to be cited for 44 violations under the Animal Welfare Act. He goes on to claim that the big cats, elephants, apes, and other animals in his possession are happy in his roadside zoo, which reopened May 30. Roadside zoos are a miserable substitute for a wild animal’s natural habitat, and those that fail to reach the AWA’s most basic requirements are undoubtedly unsuitable for animals that live there.
Take action. Virginia residents, contact the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and express your displeasure at the reinstatement of The Natural Bridge Zoo’s permit.
Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries
P.O. Box 996
Verona, VA 24482