COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The Serenity Springs Wildlife Center is in PETA's cross-hairs again.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service told Serenity Springs that it could not breed snow leopards last year, drawing national attention, now PETA is asking for an investigation into Serenity Springs for claims that the animal sanctuary allowed very young animals to be subjected to repeated public handling.
This is after someone posted Facebook photos showing people holding the cubs. "The USDA has a loophole that allows them to be in photo-ops during a very short period and Serenity Springs is abusing that and PETA is pushing to an end of photo-ops for all cubs for the safety of the cubs," says Delcianna Winders with PETA.
But animal experts say human interaction with animals in captivity isn't that uncommon. "There is no defined age where human and large cat contact should or shouldn't take place, unfortunately we have to raise many of these animals as orphans or if the mothers reject them, so it can be form day one," says Dr. Rob Hilsenroth with the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians.
Lawyers for Serenity Springs' owner Nick Sculac say he's doing nothing illegal.