The Cherokee Bear Zoo has highly trained and very experienced staff who work alongside the owner to care and feed their animals. At no point was any employee in danger while caring for the animals. The OSHA citations were all corrected and addressed within 24 hours of the site visits, and the citations do not mention any citation in relation to employees assisting in the mating process.
Presently, all OSHA citations have or are being actively resolved, and the owners are working diligently to provide a safe environment for both the employees and animals within the Zoo.
The Cherokee Bear Zoo has also filed a Motion to Dismiss in federal court where the civil action filed by Ms. Walker and Hill has been filed. At all times since the Zoo has been open, the animals have been well cared for. The Zoo and its owners expect a favorable and quick resolution to this civil action. The Cherokee Bear Zoo is a wonderful addition to the attractions available to the public in Cherokee. They provide jobs to the local community, and comply with local, Tribal, State, and Federal law. It is unfair that a thriving small business like the Cherokee Bear Zoo should be subject to lawsuits and complaints by those who have a different political or philosophical agenda concerning animals.
Mark R. Melrose
Attorney for Barry and Collette Coggins and Cherokee Bear Zoo