Freedom Of Information Act Request Concerning Tulsa Zoo Giraffe Denied

Tuesday, June 8th 2010, 3:43 pm
By: News On 6

By Emory Bryan, The News on 6

TULSA, OK -- The USDA is conducting a criminal probe surrounding the death of a giraffe at the Tulsa Zoo, possibly involving the transport company that delivered the giraffe to Tulsa. The Tulsa Zoo giraffe suffered a broken neck, apparently during the trip. 

The revelation of a criminal probe comes just after the same company delivered a giraffe to a zoo in Missouri, which immediately upon arrival was euthanized because of a broken neck.

6/7/2010  Related Story: New Twist In Mystery Surrounding Death Of Giraffe At Tulsa Zoo

The existence of a criminal investigation comes out of a city investigation into the death. The city requested USDA documents and the request was denied because the release could interfere "ongoing law enforcement proceedings."

"The USDA is very careful not to say who is being criminally investigated," said Rick Westcott, Tulsa City Councilor.  "Reading between the lines, my guess is the only person whose investigation might be jeopardized would be the transportation company that delivered the giraffe to us."

Westcott said a similar request for documents was sent to the transport company, which refused to accept the letter.

Read the memo from Councilor Westcott to the Council and the letter from the USDA to the Tulsa Zoo Director.