On April 24th, two USDA inspectors arrived unannounced at the Topeka Zoo and informed zoo officials that they were responding to a complaint about the zoo's gorilla program, specifically that the zoo has only one gorilla. Inspectors told zoo staff the complaint did not warrant a violation.
During the two and a half day visit, two USDA inspectors conducted a full zoo inspection, taking a detailed look at zoo facilities, animals and records.
The report from the inspection lists six non-compliant items: two relating to the death of a gazelle, one to a tamarin (monkey) that let itself out of a transport box, and three other items that were corrected during the inspection.
Three of the violations were minor, and were immediately corrected," Topeka Zoo Director Brendan Wiley said. "We had also already shared the issues surrounding the gazelle and the tamarin with our inspector in a meeting back in February." As part of an effort to grow the zoo's relationship with the USDA, zoo officials self-reported the events. "Now, if we have questions, we call our inspectors. It's an effort to increase two-way communication."
The City of Topeka plans to appeal at least one result of this inspection, specifically related to the gazelle.
"We also heard many positive things during this inspection," Wiley said. Topping that list were compliments to the zoo's elephant program. Both inspectors told zoo officials they were impressed by the zoo's new management approach to its elephants. They also encouraged zoo officials to keep moving forward with enhancement plans.
"I think the USDA sees what we're doing," Wiley said. "For so many years, this has been a reactive organization. Over the past two years, we have become extremely proactive and are focused on returning to world-class status."
Tracking chilly weather & Sunday snows!
Kansas State received 15 points each from Marcus Foster and Thomas Gipson as the Wildcats hung on to defeat previously unbeaten Ole Miss.
Kyrstie Miller from Holton High School is this week's GameDay Super Store Scholar Athlete, presented by Kaw Valley Bank.