Protest Commerford Traveling Zoo April 2nd

Commerford Zoo rent-a-giraffe

Commerford Zoo giraffe rental

The Commerford Zoo (and here) is coming to Rochester April 2nd and 3rd.  This is an entertainment “fun fair” with mechanical rides, animal rides (elephant/camel/pony), a petting zoo, and an exotic zoo.  They also rent animals for parties, TV, ads, and mall openings.

In their promotional materials for this showing, they claim they will have “elephants, camels, llamas, zebras, kangaroos, monkeys, giant pythons, birds, ostriches and dozens more.”  They also claim this will be “the most educational animal experience ever!”  There are no elephant rides at this particular show, only camel and pony rides.

“R.W. Commerford & Sons Traveling Petting Zoo has failed to meet minimum federal standards for the care of animals used in exhibition as established in the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has cited R.W. Commerford & Sons numerous times for failure to provide animals with adequate veterinary care, failure to maintain enclosures and transport trailers, failure to have an attendant present during periods of public contact, improper feeding, and poor housekeeping. An elephant from R.W. Commerford & Sons has been involved in three dangerous incidents while giving rides to children and caused injuries.” – Peta

Pertinent links:

  • Citation factsheet – 42 USDA citations in addition to numerous human injuries from the animals.
  • Per Born Free, “1999 — A fair worker scaled a 4-foot safety fence to pet a white tiger traveling with the R.W. Commerford and Sons Inc. petting zoo at the Orange County Fair in Mechanicstown, NY and was attacked by the animal.”
  • Yelp reviews – these are illuminating
  • Born Free – general info about animal entertainment & elephant rides

The evidence seems to suggest that this zoo is unsafe for humans and nonhuman animals alike.

What you can do:

Please boycott this event and urge your friends and family to do so as well.
Please join us in a *silent protest* so that attendees can be aware of the issue.
This protest is a public event – please publicize freely.

Protest Details:

  • When: Saturday, April 2nd, 2016 from 12:30-2:00 pm, rain or shine.  Check our website in case of dangerous weather.
  • Where: Henrietta Dome
  • Meet: corners of East Henrietta Rd and Fair Avenue in Henrietta.  We will stay on the public sidewalk of East Henrietta Rd.  Fair Avenue is private.
  • Parking: along East Henrietta Rd a little south of Fair Avenue (in front of Gro Moore Farms).  Please don’t park north of Fair Avenue or right at the south corner as it will block drivers’ views of us.  Please do not park on Fair Avenue, which is private.


Please bring a sign.  To be readable, you will want letters to be at least 4″ high and lettered darkly with marker or paint.

If making a sign is a problem, please contact us.  We want you to come!


    • Fun?  Fair?  Not for the animals
    • Animals are not “rides”
    • This is a ride (picture of mechanical ride). This is not (photo of camel).
    • Misery
    • Traveling animals: it’s no vacation
    • Numerous USDA Citations (or “42 USDA Citations,” but that’s not reusable; sadly, “numerous” is)
    • Sad, sad fair
    • You can go home, but the animals can’t.
    • More sign ideas here, plus you can get an idea of what signs look like from a distance.

Thank you for advocating for animals.  We hope to see you there!