After an early morning fire rips through an animal discovery center Thursday, killing nearly all of 250 animals, PETA is calling for the establishment to be shut down for good.
According to officials, an early morning fire at the Alligator & Wildlife Discovery Center in Madeira Beach at John’s Pass caused significant damage and dozens of animals dead.
According to Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, deputies on foot patrol spotted flames coming from the building around 3 a.m.
Madeira Beach Fire Chief Clint Belk said crews were met with heavy fire and smoke when they arrived.
Belk said there was a significant loss of animal life, including mammals, turtles, and alligators, but the exact number is unknown now.
According to the website of Alligator & Wildlife Discovery Center, 250 animals, including lizards, small mammals, amphibians, turtles and tortoises, fresh and saltwater marine life, and alligators, were all on the premises.
On Thursday, PETA Foundation General Counsel Brittany Peet said, “After being confined to cramped cages or subjected to stressful and invasive hands-on encounters, these animals endured agonizing deaths as smoke and flames engulfed them. PETA is calling on this seedy shopping mall petting zoo to send any survivors to reputable facilities and shut its doors for good.”
According to Alligator & Wildlife Discovery Center, their immediate goal is the provision of humane, professional care for pet surrenders and orphaned native wildlife that cannot be safely returned to the wild.
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