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Animal House 

Charlotte Metro Zoo has been cited over a dozen times by the USDA. Critics wonder why it's still open.

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In response to some of PETA's charges, such as that he separates baby cats from their mothers too early, Macaluso responds, "PETA says I've pulled my babies away at one day old. Our babies stay with the parents 14 days. The only time we pull a cat before 14 days is sometimes the mother will abandon the baby. I can either let it die in the cage, or I can pull it and raise it myself. We have pulled a couple of babies at a day or two old and every time it dies. My gut instinct is the reason why the mother abandons the cat is because she knows something is wrong with them."

PETA has also accused Macaluso of drugging some of his cats during photo shoots. Macaluso responds, "A lot people are jealous that I can take 150-pound cat, bring it to a mall, tell the cat to sit up on a block, and it will sit there, and I'll allow your two-month old child to sit next to my tiger and take a picture."

In response to the overall criticism that it's wrong to put wild animals in cages for profit, Macaluso says, "Everyone is entitled to their opinion. If it wasn't for people like me the average person would never get to see a wild animal like a tiger, a bear or leopard. Is it fair the animals are behind bars? That's like saying if you've never had a phone, and never knew what a phone was, are you missing anything in life? No, because you never had it. Would I like to see the animals in the wild? Yes, I would like to see every animal in every zoo in the wild. Unfortunately, we cannot do that because man is destroying their habitats. So somebody needs to take care of these animals. And that's what our zoos are for. If it wasn't for zoos like us ,a lot of these animals would be extinct and your children and your children's children would never get to see a tiger."

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