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Monroe County Republicans criticize conditions at Seneca Park Zoo



Rochester, New York — Safety concerns for both animals and the staff at Seneca Park Zoo are raising after a U.S. Agricultural Department report.

According to recent inspections, employees were allegedly not following proper protocol and failing park maintenance. It highlighted one situation following the birth of a snow leopard cub.

Staff entered the mother and cub’s enclosure, despite a veterinarian issued a Do Not Disturb order, the department said. The staff even took pictures with the newborn. The mother later rejected the cub, which developed medical conditions requiring hospital care. The report also claims a lion escaped from a primary enclosure and was loose in the keeper hallway.

The Lethal Force Team was deployed, which the USDA says did not have adequate training.

Monroe County runs the zoo and requested an inspection after the lion escaped in September.

According to Republican Majority Leader Steve Brew, besides the county knew about these issues, they tried to suppress the report.

“I am truly shocked and disturbed by the verified evidence of animal welfare and human safety concerns at Seneca Park Zoo, Brew said in a statement. “On top of this, this clear and egregious retaliation by Adam Bello’s administration against a respected and dedicated county employee, who’s 2 years of reported animal welfare and human safety abuses were seemingly ignored by Adam Bello, makes matters even worse.”

The county says they have since addressed other areas of concern from the report. The director of communications saying, in part, “The zoo is a community gem and the welfare and health of the animals is paramount. Following the lion incident, we initiated and invited both the USDA and the AZA to inspect our premises and procedures as we welcome the opportunity to improve and ensure the welfare of our animals and guests.”