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Animals Die in Roadside Zoo Fire

Written by PETA | November 9, 2011

© Comstock/Animals-Wildlife/Getty Images

PETA is calling upon the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to investigate whether the owner of a New Jersey roadside zoo and pet store did enough to prevent a fire in which two giraffes, up to 15 parrots, and several dogs and cats died. The letter also asks the USDA, “[I]f this loss of life is found to have been preventable, … hold Sipp and Animal Kingdom Zoo responsible.”

Every day has its share of tragedy for captive wild animals forced to languish in cramped enclosures at roadside zoos and pet stores. The fire at Animal Kingdom Zoo is the second since April, when a fire killed Burton Sipp’s wife, Bridget. In the latest fire, a mother giraffe and her calf were locked inside a building, and the mother was crushed to death by a falling wall, raising questions about the facility’s structural integrity. Her calf also did not live through the night. Indeed, just over two weeks before this lethal fire, the USDA cited the facility for 19 violations of the Animal Welfare Act, including failure to maintain the structural strength of the giraffe enclosure and numerous other animal enclosures.

Please never visit roadside zoos or facilities that sell animals. You can also help animals at three roadside zoos—Cherokee Bear Zoo, Chief Saunooke Bear Park, and Santa’s Land—by clicking here to urge officials to close these dilapidated facilities.

Written by Heather Faraid Drennan

Commenting is closed.
  • FMP says:

    I used to work there in the 80’s I worked with many of the animals and it was fun. I always new B. Sipp was shady, and many people back then know it as well. How he was allowed to get away with it for all these years Ill never know.

  • Eli says:

    i live about 10 minutes away from the place and my friend told me about this but i didnt believe him…..

  • Barb says:

    Burton K. Sipp has a terrible reputation. If you google his name you will see how bad this guy is. This is the 2nd fire in one year and he ask for donations to rebuild. A few years ago he staged a robbery of exotic birds and collected insurance money. He got caught with the birds and had to pay back. He also had 9 horses die in a fire and collected insurance money for that too. Then he tried to tamper with the witnesses. To check out Burton Sipp’s legal past, scroll down on this link FindACase™ | 07/12/94 BENSALEM RACING ASSOCIATION v. STATE HORSE

  • Rene says:

    It might be important to point out that Burton Sipp, the owner of the Animal Kingdom, was found guilty of burning down his horse stable for insurance money several years ago. I believe 3 horses were killed. Coincidence or karma?

  • lisa says:

    Very very sad how are people allowed to have wild animals in a roadside zoo? that poor mother giraffe and her baby what they must off gone through, why are you in america still allowing this???

  • Michelle kimber says:

    I just can’t believe in the 21st century this is still happening to innocent animals that belong in the wild. This is a terrible tragedy and i feel for all the animals imprisioned today, shame on us humans for using animals this way.

  • Joan says:

    Thanks for posting this story. Animal Kingdom is down the street from where I grew up and I used to ride by it on my way to elementary school. I never actually went inside and I’m glad I never supported them. It is not a good situation for the animals. So sad for those lost in the fire! 🙁 Hopefully they will be shut down for good.