If the name DEW Haven sounds familiar to you, it may be because it is the name of a popular roadside zoo in Mount Vernon, Maine that was the subject of an Animal Planet reality show called “Yankee Jungle.” Run by husband and wife Bob and Julie Miner, DEW Haven has been keeping wild animals of all types of species since 1980. Although they were signed on for another season of “Yankee Jungle,” the contract was canceled when animal welfare violations were discovered at the facilities, dating back twenty years. Among these violations is an unreported shooting and death of an African male lion by the name of Baghwa.


The story of Baghwa’s death is documented as such: Bob Miner admits to making a disastrous mistake by leaving a gate latch open and standing between a hungry Baghwa and his food. The lion’s natural instincts kicked in and he mauled Bob. Bob managed to get away with serious injuries, and when Julie learned of the incident, she immediately and mercilessly shot and killed Baghwa. No authorities were notified of this tragedy, and Bob defends the decision by saying they did not want to risk shutting down the place if authorities knew about the lion’s death.

If you are outraged by this blatant act of animal cruelty, please take a moment to sign this petition asking Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to pursue investigations on this case. The petition’s author has already brought a batch of signatures to authorities but will continue to collect others, so please help add pressure to this case!

Be sure to share this story with friends and encouraging them to sign the petition as well. Furthermore, take this story as a lesson why you should not support roadside zoos, even those that are well-known and in the public eye. Wild animals belong in the wild, not in cages where they can be killed because of the mistakes of their caretakers.


Image Source: Oleg Troino/Shutterstock