Stop the "Zoo" at Merle Hay Mall

  • by: Stop the "Zoo" at Merle Hay Mall
  • recipient: Mayor Frank Cownie, Councilman Bill Gray, CEO of MHM Liz Holland, Tom Walsh Sr. V.P Abbell Associate/Director of Leasing for MHM, Ed Kaiser GM of MHM, Ron DeArmond Owner of Pella Wildlife dba The Academy of Wildlife Education fka Red Rock Wildlife Educati

The goal of Stop the "Zoo" at Merle Hay Mall, located in Des Moines, Iowa, is to seek a humane resolution for the wildlife housed at Merle Hay Mall.  We feel it is cruel to house bears, wolves, and large cats inside the mall without sun, fresh air, or ever having the ability to run or roam for three years.

They are currently in glassed-in enclosures. These animals were purchased as newborns from breeders and were never intended to be rehabbed back into the wild but were bought for the sole purpose of being displayed.   

We, collectively, want our community leaders, the Merle Hay Mall owners and partners, and Ron DeArmond, owner of this wildlife exhibit, to assist and/or assume responsibility by removing them from their current condition by relinquishing the animals and providing the necessary means to transport these creatures to a more humane habitat such as a sanctuary -- in order to be acclimated as much as possible into a natural environment from which they should belong.  This is not how we teach children about wildlife in an enlightened society - nor do we support these type of exhibits in our community. 

These animals should not merely exist as such--- but should be given to opportunity to thrive -- with the sun on their backs and grass underfoot. 

We would like to have a formal response to our request by:

                                 AUGUST 18TH, 2014.

Until resolved, we will continue to be the voice for these creatures.


Update #19 years ago
SUCCESS! The zoo at Merle Hay Mall has been evicted, and the animals -- including 3 black bears, wolves and a cougar -- will be relocated to a more suitable environment. Thanks to everyone who signed the Care2 petition -- we really made a difference! You can learn more here:
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