Number of the Day: 27 [Animals killed in a fire at Hollywild Zoo]


Hollywild Zoo, South Carolina.

From News 2, South Carolina:

“This is very devastating to me and the entire Hollywild family,” stated Dr. Beverly Hargus, Hollywild’s veterinarian.  “At this point, we do not feel any animals are suffering.  None were burned.  The survivors are recovering from smoke inhalation.  It appears it was a quick and painless death for the animals that died.  It is terribly tragic, but sadly, it is the kind of thing that can happen anywhere.”

Those animals lost in the fire include capuchins, chimpanzees, baboons, lemurs, mangabeys, tortoises, wolf hybrid puppies, a bear cub, an African Crowned Crane and a barn cat.

Words cannot express how sad I feel for the animals who died. I also feel sad for the survivors, who experienced something awful and who are probably wondering what happened to their friends. I can’t imagine the terror and pain that comes from being burned alive.

I’m also infuriated at what humans have done. When will we realize that the benefit (seeing wild animals) is not worth the cost (the animals’ freedom and their lives)? This great loss is something that could have been completely avoided if we weren’t forcing animals into prisons for “entertainment” purposes.

So I don’t agree with the above quote that this could “happen anywhere.” This could only happen at a place where more than 30 different animals, of various species, were confined into a barn.

I also take issue with the the media choosing to quote someone from a completely different institution, The Greenville Zoo, who speaks in the video about the requirements of accredited zoos in dealing with a fire situation. I find including this quote to be very misleading — Hollywild is NOT accredited and therefore doesn’t have to comply with any of the AZA guidelines.

As an aside, I’m disturbed by some of the animals they kept in the barn. Wolf hybrid puppies? Apes and monkeys? A baby bear? Where are these animals coming from? Where are their parents? And who is breeding them?

The exotic animal trade is a bad, dark place. As our many zoos. If we stop giving money to these roadside zoo institutions, the breeders won’t have much reason to keep doing what they are doing. Please don’t go to places like Hollywild.

A capuchin monkey, like the one pictured here, was one of the casualties of the fire. Photo by Dario Sanches / Flickr creative commons.

A capuchin monkey, like the one pictured here, was one of the casualties of the fire.
Photo by Dario Sanches / Flickr creative commons.

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