Dalton Zoo whistleblower claims he had to 'beg' for kitchen scraps to give animals fresh food

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Allegations: South Lakes Safari Zoo Photo: JON GRANGER
Allegations: South Lakes Safari Zoo Photo: JON GRANGER
2 May 2017 4:45PM

A WHISTLEBLOWING Dalton zoo worker claims he was regularly forced to beg for kitchen scraps in order to provide healthy food for animals kept on site.

In an explosive letter to council bosses, South Lakes Safari Zoo employee James Potter states he was chastised for throwing away mouldy bread meant for some exhibits before he eventually resorted to buying reduced price fruit and vegetables from a Barrow supermarket in order to keep them fed.

And while Mr Potter has informed licencing officials within Barrow Borough Council that the poor feeding practices went on under zoo founder David Gill's regime, he alleges they have become WORSE since the attraction was taken over by Cumbria Zoo Company Ltd, led by chief executive Karen Brewer, in January.

RELATED ARTICLE: Mother of mauled South Lakes zoo keeper says attraction should be shut down

Mr Potter said: "I have been made by Karen Brewer to feed the animals mouldy bread in the past and been reprimanded for throwing it away.

"I was regularly having to beg for scraps of food from the Maki restaurant kitchen just to give the animals some fresh food."

He claims: "I have always had this struggle under the management of Mr Gill, but under the new regime of management it is even worse, and I have on many an occasion had to buy food myself just to include fresh food in the diets."

Mr Potter also alleges to have found poison for vermin laid in inappropriate locations around the site, near to Marton, while he claims he was also ordered to power wash the big cat enclosures without a radio to summon staff if needed prior to the most recent zoo inspection taking place.

The contents of the letter will be included in evidence presented to licensing regulatory committee members ahead of a vote on whether a four-year zoo licence should be granted to Cumbria Zoo Company Ltd.

READ MORE: WITH VIDEO: Born Free experts witness 'pacing lion' at under fire Dalton zoo

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jue   Collins , Cumbria Wednesday, 03 May, 2017 at 1:41PM
Disgusting, hope the authorities see sense and ensure the place is closed down asap for the health and safety of the animals. The stories of pacing animals, hundreds of unnecessary deaths of animals under both David Gill , and Karen Brewer, who worked under Gill for many years and saw the atrocities, but she never did a thing about it. Well done the whistle blower, pity Karen Brewer didn't feel fit to do this. Whether they stay open or not the place has had such bad publicity worldwide I think (hope) it will be ruined for life. Get the animals out for their own safety, and the people who worked for Gill and Brewer are the same staff so they dont deserve to stay open.
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