Letter to the Editor: Lagoon ‘zoo’ isn’t humane

The Wild Kingdom Train Zoo located at the “historic” Lagoon theme park in Farmington, Utah is an embarrassment. Do not let their advertisements, “The second largest zoo in Utah” fool you. Animals such as Siberian tigers, lions, a jaguar, a golden eagle, ostriches and camels are among the abused animals on display at Lagoon’s theme park.
Their cages consist of a cement slab void of vegetation or any other remnant of their natural habitat, causing the scene to look like a medieval prison. Beyond the horrific facilities, an amusement park where children are screaming, music is blaring and rides are operating is like a torture chamber for these animals. The Animal Health and Plant Inspection Service states in their Animal Care factsheet for exhibitors that “animals must be exhibited only for set periods of time and under conditions consistent with their health and well-being. Exhibitors must handle animals carefully and humanely to prevent unnecessary stress or discomfort.”
The pacing back-and-forth of the tigers, slumped humps of the camels and the ostrich’s pecking out of its own feathers are indications that these animals are suffering and not living in conditions “consistent with their health and well-being.” Our state allows the operation of such cruelty to continue and has yet to adopt stricter guidelines within animal right legislation. This is sending a message of carelessness and irresponsibility. It is your responsibility as much as it is mine to voice that this is not acceptable and needs to receive immediate government attention.
Laramie Riggs
Senior, Communication and International Studies