ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE) – After animal advocates called out Spring River Zoo over animal safety concerns, the federal government has fined Roswell’s zoo $4,500. That includes a fine’s for reportedly allowing a beaver to escape.

The documented issues date back to 2020, the citation from the U.S. Department of Agriculture notes. In October 2020, a beaver dug out from its temporary enclosure and escaped, the report alleges. “The beaver was not recovered by the facility after the escape,” it adds.

Over the next two years, the feds documented additional issues at the zoo, including when four zoo animals were mauled and killed by a pack of dogs.

For the alleged violations, the zoo was recently issued a $4,500 fine and the city agreed to pay. But the animal advocacy group PETA wants even more accountability.

“Because of Spring River’s failures, vulnerable animals have been mauled to death, sustained debilitating injuries, and disappeared, never to be seen again,” PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Welfare Debbie Metzler said in a press release. “PETA urges the city of Roswell to shut down Spring River before more animals die or escape from its ramshackle cages.”

This isn’t the first time PETA has called for the zoo to close. Earlier this year, PETA condemned the zoo.

In response, the zoo said:

“Spring River Zoo has taken appropriate action to rectify and/or improve its facilities each time an issue has come up regarding its animals. In addition, the zoo is continually planning and implementing new measures and care to protect the welfare of the animals . . . Enhanced security and safety measures have been and will continue to be constructed to further protect the zoo animals. 

PETA has issued many statements through the years as part of its continual effort to get the zoo closed. The City of Roswell and Spring River Zoo have no expectations that PETA’s campaign against the zoo will stop. However, zoo and city staff remain dedicated to always work to provide the best care for the animals and improve the zoo for the animals and community.”

A U.S. Department of Agriculture inspection of the zoo on March 28, 2023 found no compliance issues. KRQE News 13 reached out to the Roswell Zoo to learn more about the federal compliance issues.

They say they have paid the fine as approved by Roswell City Council. And “since then, the city has reorganized the management of the zoo and is focused on improving and maintaining the grounds and facilities to benefit the animals, employees and visitors.”