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Animal Rights Activists Furious Over Traveling Exotic Animal Show in Spring Hill

SPRING HILL – Traveling exotic animal shows have long-been an extremely controversial issue and are often criticized by watchdog groups like PETA (People for the ethical treatment of animals).

Yesterday, RNRF received several complaints about an animal exhibit set up in front of the Town Square Mall on Commercial Way. Jungle Safari offers pony and camel rides and has several exotic animals for visitors to view and pet. But animal rights activists in the area aren’t happy, and their disdain for the organization is spreading across social media.

Lindsay Cavalier posted on the RNRF Community Facebook Page, “How much longer is that traveling animal abuse show in town?” She went on to say, “I would like to organize a peaceful protest to drive them out and let them know they are not welcome back.”

Terry Wilson says, “They need to be in their natural habitat.” But owner Robert Engesser says that’s not possible for animals born and raised in captivity.

During an interview with Engesser today, he says “We’re licensed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, as well as the U.S. Department of Agriculture.” Engesser continues, “All the animals are under veterinary care and have current health certificates and vaccinations.”

I asked Engesser if his animals could ever be introduced into the wild and he said, “No, these guys didn’t come from the wild and they wouldn’t be able to survive because of the human imprint.” He further stated, “Because they are in captivity and socialize with humans all the time, it doesn’t stress them out to have veterinary care or receive vaccinations.”

Engesser runs an exotic animal farm in Cheifland, Florida that he says has been in the family for three generations. “It’s shows and events like this that help fund the care for our farm up there,” says Engesser.

RNRF viewed each animal on site and they appeared to be in good health, and there was plenty of food and water on-hand.

According to the website, Jungle Safari has been cited several times over the years by the USDA but the complaints have not led to the facility being shut down.

After years of battling animal rights groups, the 146-year-old Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus closed down last year over concerns for the treatment of elephants, and PETA takes credit for the action.

PETA has also waged war against SeaWorld, Miami Seaquarium, and many other zoos and animal exhibits across the country.

Jungle Safari opened on valentine’s Day and runs until tomorrow evening at 9:00 p.m.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. ™2013 – 2018 RNRF Incorporated.

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  • PS: I should have said in my above post that I was being sarcastic. The animals in the photos look very healthy too.

    Monday, 19 February 2018, 1:03 pm
  • That 911 animal abuse website is one of Big Cat Rescue’s many websites. Nothing is OK unless BCR does it.

    Monday, 19 February 2018, 1:01 pm
  • Animals born and raised in captivity don’t stand a chance in the wild, and they’re expensive to take care of! Get over yourself, Lindsay Cavalier! If you feel like bitchin’, spend your energy on better gun control so our children can go to school without the threat of murder!!!!

    Sunday, 18 February 2018, 4:13 pm
  • Okay grammar police I’m going to police myself meant to say coming from a big poor family we rarely got to go key word rarely screwed that one up there you go spell checkers

    Sunday, 18 February 2018, 12:09 pm
  • Joe faith and Nancy spot on so well said so true Nancy you are so very correct they are straight up a liberal radicals pisses me off to about the circus can’t believe they caved into these clowns coming from a big very poor family we really got to do so but when I was a kid going to the circus was the s*** favorite thing to do all time anyway these wackos better not come around me ever when I’m out fishing or they’re going to get crushed in the face with a fishing rod and I ain’t playing these people are definitely way way far of left field can’t stand these sons of b******, they’re straight out of something worse than a cartoon like Looney freaking Tunes

    Sunday, 18 February 2018, 12:07 pm
  • Just saying awesome idea on the Gators in the Everglades well said if only it could happen

    Sunday, 18 February 2018, 12:01 pm
  • Paul edw damn it spell check grammar police knock the s*** off get the hell out of here you get the point of what most people are trying to say on opinions and comments who gives a damn rat’s ass if they have proper punctuation or not it’s just a damn comment they’re not writing a book or a freaking essay so sick of the gosh damn grammar police on here go study at yourself at home on your own time shut up about it on here

    Sunday, 18 February 2018, 12:01 pm
  • Hey PETA, I just herd there are a few alligators in cardiac arrest in the Everglades, and they need CPR ASAP.

    Sunday, 18 February 2018, 9:55 am
    • Heard, not herd.

      Sunday, 18 February 2018, 9:58 am
  • Peta is a whack job. The puppy mills go on with their abusive ways. Why doesn’t peta go after them? They want attention not actually doing anything positive.

    Sunday, 18 February 2018, 9:45 am
  • Screw those PETA wack jobs. I’m going there to support them just to piss them off and pay for double the price to pet them if they are still there.

    Saturday, 17 February 2018, 10:12 pm
  • PETA are nothing more than liberal radicals. And, Surfadude, don’t give them any ideas. They have already gone after chicken ranches and cattle farms. You are right, they want us all to eat grass. One thing they never think about it, many young people would NEVER see any of these animals, other than pictures, if it weren’t for businesses like this and zoos.. And, from what I’ve read here, they seem to be pretty responsible. It broke my heart when they forced the Ringling Bros. circus to shut down. And, it pissed me off greatly!

    Saturday, 17 February 2018, 7:44 pm
  • Bethy you are the best always spot on Bethy and funny too!!! Also just saying Kathy Tim and Melissa you are also spot on good job well said and you’re speaking the truth you are right peace and joy what’s left of this Saturday

    Saturday, 17 February 2018, 5:52 pm
  • We were there today and the animals seemed healthy and well taken care of and seemed to be happy. Always going to be people complaining.

    Saturday, 17 February 2018, 5:52 pm
  • People eating tasty animals = PETA!!! By the way where is there outcry on things like partial birth abortions of human beings that are occurring daily by the hundreds of thousands or abortions in general oh I’m sorry animals matter more then humans they sure do to these folks I made wonderful from scratch crab alfredo with snow crab meat the other night yummy these people have their way we’d all be eating grass freaking whack jobs

    Saturday, 17 February 2018, 5:36 pm
  • Give you a little insight into how whacked out the Peta people are there were two different bull shark attacks that occurred in the panhandle of Florida in the last roughly 20 years one was a little boy I believe about 9 years old named Jessie Arbogast the other was I believe a 7 or 11 year old girl don’t remember her name both were mauled to death by bull sharks in the first case with Jesse it was in front of his family right at the shoreline in both cases the witnesses stated that the Sharks in both attacks were Relentless and trying to get back to their victims repeatedly not a one bite and gone deal at all , so what did Peta do ? do they put a billboard up in Panama City Beach saying that the sharks are getting their Revenge !!! Insinuating basically that it was the fault of the victims this is how these people think that’s a fact true story after much much pressure the pita wackos finally pulled their damn sign down I got an idea for you PETA people go rescue every damn animal on the planet bring them to your houses feed and care for them all of their Veterinary needs Etc how about that not to mention there are many cases where the these folks have been downright borderline violent death threats Etc was a fairly recent story and Tampa were Peta went on a little sweep of the bay and harassed a father and son catching some panfish off a dock to the point of where they gave up and went home I would have hit them all upside the head with a nice freshly caught panfish if I was there following a boot in their rear end so there you go that’s just the tip of the iceberg Peta people here you go about this beat it!!! i think I’m going to go have a nice steak or perhaps venison CHILI MMMMMMMMMMMMMM

    Saturday, 17 February 2018, 5:31 pm
    • Ever hear of punctuation?

      Saturday, 17 February 2018, 8:16 pm
  • Some people need a reason to be outraged. Maybe these folks rescue the animals from abusive situations but do this because they need the money to raise them. Point being that I doubt these part time Spring Hill Bob Barker wannabes spent much time doing research before being “righteous.”

    Saturday, 17 February 2018, 5:19 pm
  • Dinner plate

    Saturday, 17 February 2018, 5:17 pm
    • Nice…jerk

      Saturday, 17 February 2018, 5:33 pm
  • PETA. A real joke, they need a lesson humility, go to hell peta people

    Saturday, 17 February 2018, 5:01 pm
  • If PETA had their way no one would own any animal! Bunch of busy bodies and cry babies!

    Saturday, 17 February 2018, 4:57 pm
  • Jungle Safari, keep on rockin and doing what you do. I left the RNRF Community page, Tom, because of the wacko/ wackos that are complaining about Jungle Safari. And, yes, they are truly bona fide wackos. You can Google them yourself. I have enough drama in my life and, do not need, nor want, to be drawn into theirs.

    Saturday, 17 February 2018, 4:57 pm
  • Russians are trying to kill our petting zoos. Don’t let them do it.

    Saturday, 17 February 2018, 4:55 pm
  • Oh oh oh here we go again the Peta wackos I’m sure the haters are going to come in force but guess what I love all animals and none of them should ever be treated with cruelty or mistreated what have you but some of the folks members in that organization are flat-out wackos as far as their views on catching fish for food Venison and or wild hogs Etc fact is the good lord gave us many of these animals for food why don’t they go shut down the cattle Farms chicken farms Etc what are these people eat are they all vegans anyway I once heard a guy tell me PETA stands for people eating tasty animals I thought that was funny

    Saturday, 17 February 2018, 4:28 pm
  • I see the posts that the pens are too small and such…but we went to the florida state fair today and the same animals were in the same size pens…and its very hot the animals at the state fair were just laying there…the animals at this little petting zoo seemed ok to me…and full of life…

    Saturday, 17 February 2018, 4:26 pm

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