We're calling for the immediate closure and sanctuary retirement of animals suffering at Virginia’s Natural Bridge Zoo in Rockbridge County, following a new round of animal welfare violations found by the USDA during a June inspection. We call on the USDA, along with the Governor of Virginia, Terence McAuliffe, to enforce regulations, and to remove Asha the elephant, and the other suffering animals to accredited sanctuaries. Help us shut down this roadside atrocity for good!
Cramped animal enclosures, inadequate veterinary care, deteriorating buildings, and Asha left unattended in an unsafe enclosure, are some of the violations found by the USDA. Lonely Asha has been denied the social companionship of other elephants for decades. She spends the cold winters confined alone in a barn and in summer is forced to give rides in the sweltering heat under the threat of a sharp bullhook.
In 2016, the USDA cited Natural Bridge Zoo for a number of violations including the mishandling of Asha by her keepers. In 2015, the USDA found a whopping 62 Animal Welfare Act violations. In 2014, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries suspended the Zoo’s permit after the USDA found 44 violations of the Animal Welfare Act, but this closed the Zoo only temporarily. Natural Bridge Zoo was In Defense of Animals #1 Worst Zoo for Elephants in 2014 and has remained on our list ever since. It's time for the USDA to shut this horrible place down for good!
Urge the Governor of Virginia, Terence McAuliffe, and the USDA to shut down Natural Bridge Zoo permanently by phone and letter.
1) Call Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe at 804-786-2211
Simply and politely say: Natural Bridge Zoo is a nightmare for animals, especially for Asha the solitary elephant. I urge you to please work with the USDA to shut this place down, and retire Asha and all the other suffering animals to accredited sanctuaries immediately.
2) Personalize and send our letter below.
Please Shut Down the Natural Bridge Zoo Roadside Atrocity for Good!
Dear [Decision Maker],
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP]
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