Extreme Heat May Force A Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park To Close

Monday, July 18th 2011, 4:32 pm
By: News 9

Gan Matthews, News 9

NEAR WYNNEWOOD, Oklahoma -- The G.W. Exotic Animal Park near Wynnewood claims to have the largest collection of big cats in the U.S. But these days the cats and other animals at the park are struggling, along with their human owners.

The summer's heat has discouraged visitors from coming. Normally several hundred people visit the park every day. This summer only 25 to 30 customers are showing up daily. As a result, revenue is way down, making it difficult for Park Director Joe Schreibvogel to pay his water bill.

"Water is devastating to us," said Schreibvogel. "The ponds are dried up, all the landscape is dying, and we can't turn the misters on for the cats or anything because we can't afford the water bill right now."

The animal park has already sent six of its big cats to other facilities, while all of its hooved animals have been moved to a location near Ardmore.

The park's water bill is about $4,200 and due now. Add in electricity and phone, and the bill comes to almost $12,000. It's money the park doesn't have. Schreibvogel said he must raise the money by Friday.

Marie Wolfstone, a visitor from Washington state said she would hate to see the park close. "It would be really sad, because I think they have a really unique zoo here," Wolfstone said.

Find out more about the GW Exotic Animal Park and how you can help.