An exotic-animal trainer's days of abusing exotic animals may be coming to an end. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has just heard the complaints against Doug Terranova, who has trained and provided elephants, big cats, primates, camels, and other animals for commercial use by circuses and television shows.
In 2009, PETA filed a complaint with the USDA after Kamba, an elephant in Terranova's care, escaped while on loan to a traveling circus and was struck by a sport utility vehicle on a highway outside the circus arena. It was at least the second time that Kamba had escaped and run amok.
PETA requested that Kamba be confiscated, and she was later taken to the Dallas Zoo for rehabilitation. The zoo subsequently purchased Kamba and Congo, another elephant previously in Terranova's care. Terranova was hired as a keeper at the zoo, although his employment status may change depending on the outcome of the hearing. The USDA could impose fines or restrict Terranova's license to exhibit animals. We'll keep you posted.
Written by Michelle Sherrow