Applaud Removal of Exotic Animals from Mall Zoo


Target: T. M. Franklin Cownie, Mayor of Des Moines, Iowa

Goal: Praise the transfer of 31 animals from poor conditions in a mall zoo to sanctuary and rescue facilities

Wild animals from a cramped mall zoo in Des Moines will be relocated to more suitable habitats, according to a court order removing the animals from the facility’s custody. The 31 animals, including bears, foxes, and coyotes will be taken in by sanctuaries, rescue groups, and zoos where they can enjoy an improved quality of life for their remaining years.

A bobcat, a lynx, a coyote, a cougar, and various foxes and wolves will be transported to Colorado’s Wild Animals Sanctuary. World of Reptiles will take in an alligator and some snakes, while the city will care for a barn owl, a hawk, and a skunk. Protection group Animal Rescue League will provide a temporary home for a porcupine, an armadillo, an opossum and a raccoon until permanent accommodations are found.

A court ordered the mall zoo closed after several public complaints about the lack of space given to the animals. Some had visible muscle loss due to being unable to play, exercise, or engage in normal animal behaviors in their enclosures, which were a small fraction of the area they generally need in the wild.

When the animals were placed in the city’s care, officials had the option to euthanize them. Rather than taking the easy route, the city worked to ensure that all the animals were relocated to facilities with the proper space and resources necessary to care for them.

The animals’ physical and mental health will benefit greatly from the improved conditions in their new homes. In many cases, the animals will also avoid the stress that comes with being on constant display at a mall. Sign the petition below to applaud Des Moines officials for ensuring that the mall zoo animals receive compassionate and considerate care.


Dear Mayor T. M. Franklin Cownie,

Over 30 wild animals have been moved to sanctuaries, zoos, and rescue operations across America following the closure of the Academy of Wildlife Education, a miniature zoo in a Des Moines Mall. The rescued animals included wolves, foxes, an alligator, an owl, and various wild cats.

The animals, which the city chose to move rather than euthanize, will enjoy improved health and happiness with more space to roam and play. We, the undersigned, commend your efforts to find good homes for the animals.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Keven Law via Creative Commons

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  1. A Big Thank you to the Mayor, the Judge who Ordered the Animals must be sent to a sanctuary, obviously is doing their jobs right. We need these type of kind, compassionate, considerate about other living beings welfare and super human beings to run the policies. OMG how on earth such massive numbers of variety of animals are being given such inhumane despicable evil treatments by so called zoo managements & workers. Where are their minds ?hearts? & souls? This is not the era we should live in while throwing an innocent animals lives in front of a massive screaming crowd to gain the money & profit. PLEASE STOP THIS MADNESS. ANIMALS are NOT ours to abuse, inflict, imprisoned, and gain the profit in their expense. SHAME ON THOSE OWNERS/managers/workers at that zoo. These defenceless animals are belong in their natural environments. How ever since they are being raised under the iron hands of humans obviously they need to be gone to a SANCTUARY where they can spend their rest of the life in PEACE. Yes You love your life…They love their Too. Why any one needs to be a rocket scientist to understand that simple philosophy?

  2. Michael Guest says:

    These animals do deserve to be in a better place to get the necessary care they need. Interesting story.

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