An inspection of Mooresville’s Lazy 5 Ranch by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has apparently turned up several animal violations by the drive-through petting zoo.

The animal rights group PETA says it alerted the USDA in February to a Lazy 5 visitor's complaint that giraffes there were suffering from painfully overgrown hooves and other neglect. A routine USDA inspection on April 1 revealed a giraffe with overgrown hooves, records that were not up to date, and visitors feeding and petting animals without an attendant nearby.

The USDA report states that Lazy 5 owner Henry Hampton told the inspector, a USDA veterinarian, that the giraffe’s hooves would be trimmed “within the next two to three weeks” and the inspector set an April 30 deadline.

A telephone call and email to Hampton by the Tribune has not been returned.

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