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Deadly Destinations

“Habitats” made by humans may appeal to visitors who only look at them for a few minutes, but they’re still cages for the animals who are forced to spend their whole lives in them. We buy our cotton candy and move on with our lives; the animals are there to stay. They are housed in cages that don’t come close to the jungles, deserts, savannahs, and forests that are their natural homes. They have no choice in their diets, mates, or living companions. Every aspect of their lives is controlled and manipulated.

A few fleeting moments of distraction for humans mean a lifetime of misery for animals. If you care about animals, avoid animal exhibits like you would avoid poison ivy. Here are a few of the saddest spots for animals:

Barefoot Landing/T.I.G.E.R.S.

North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Barefoot Landing allows notorious exhibitor Kevin Antle to shill tiger cubs and a chimpanzee to tourists for photo ops. Antle’s operation, T.I.G.E.R.S., has repeatedly been cited and fined by federal authorities for serious violations of the Animal Welfare Act, including failure to provide animals with veterinary care and proper shelter and failure to handle dangerous animals safely.

Barefoot Landing also features its “Alligator Adventure,” which offers live animal shows and displays more than 700 alligators, crocodiles, tropical birds, snakes, and other reptiles.


Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

Part theme park, part zoo, this tourist trap displays orcas, beluga whales, dolphins, sea lions, and walruses in cramped tanks. Visitors are allowed to feed and touch the belugas throughout the day. Far too many whales and dolphins have perished at Marineland: It is estimated that more than 40 whales and dolphins have died there, approximately 25 of them dying in the last 15 years. Marineland has imported beluga whales and dolphins who were ripped from their ocean homes.

Marineland also keeps bears, deer, bison, and elk in cages surrounded by noisy roller coasters and rides.

Sea World

San Antonio, Texas; San Diego, California; Orlando, Florida

At Sea World, orca whales perform tricks for food; swim endless circles in small, barren concrete tanks; and live far short of the 60-year lifespan that orcas enjoy in the wild. In the wild, these whales live in tight family units, with bonds that may last a lifetime.

In their ocean homes, dolphins swim together in family pods up to 100 miles a day. At SeaWorld, their home is reduced to a virtual bathtub.

Sea World, which owns most of the captive orcas and dolphins in the United States, has one of the worst histories of animal care. At least 35 orcas and over 100 dolphins have died at U.S. Sea World facilities. The aquarium industry worldwide has claimed the lives of at least 150 orcas and 963 dolphins. And until it was exposed to the public, Sea World routinely shot and killed hybrid ducks who flew in and joined Sea World’s resident bird population.

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom

Vallejo, California

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom World can’t even keep its own employees happy, much less its animals! In March 2001, two former Six Flags Discovery Kingdom employees filed a report with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) alleging animal beatings, neglect, suffering, and terror caused by inadequate veterinary care, improper housing, mishandling by untrained and unqualified personnel, and exposure to noise from thrill rides and growing crowds at the park.

Since 1995, eight elephants have died at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom.  Elephants are forced to perform tricks and give rides to park visitors. Elephant handlers and visitors to the park have been injured by elephants on three separate occasions. Despite these serious incidents, Discovery Kingdom World continues to use cruel, outdated circus-style training methods, in which elephants are beaten with bullhooks (rods with sharp metal hooks on the ends) if they don’t perform on cue.

Six Flags Wild Safari

Jackson, New Jersey

There are 31 Six Flags parks in North America; Wild Safari is one of two that exhibits elephants (see Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, above). The elephants are kept in a drive-through exhibit, which means that they are subjected to a constant stream of vehicles, exhaust, and unsupervised visitors.

In one three-month period, 26 animals died at Six Flags Wild Safari. The causes of death ranged from neck and skull fractures to hypothermia, tetanus, pneumonia, and drowning. While drive-through wildlife parks give the impression that they’re “sanctuaries,” Six Flags Wild Safari has sold “surplus” baboons to biomedical researchers and exotic hoofed animals to hunting ranches.

Come Home Happy, Not Heartbroken

Vacations should hold only happy memories. Instead of tainting your trip by seeing tortured animals, why not simply hit the beach, take a cruise, or visit a museum? There are loads of eco-tourism companies that offer cruelty-free excursions.

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  • marzena preis says:

    Everything happens for a reason, often the reason we do not know….however Humanity Must wake up…we must open our hearts to the fullest and see that we are All One….as we cause the suffering there will be consequences. everything we do, feel and think now will have it’s consequences. we must think love, love for all….this is the only way….the only way to change this world is to Be Love, Be Peace, Be Harmony….in everything we do, in everything we feel, in everything we think….PETA is doing an incredible work and i fully support them. i love their action and work but i also know that we must stay compassionate to all beings. and anger and hate will only produce more anger and hate….everywhere….it will have the ripple effect on us all….i am not perfect i made thousands of mistakes of being angry with Humanity for everything…..and then i only produced more of that around me….and i know this affected the World in a negative way…things are not always what they seam…..In Love and Light to all.

  • david says:

    Makes me real proud to live in toronto and know most people don’t give two hoots about the atrocities going on under their noses

  • Cindy Wall says:

    Hi my name is Cindy and I was reading a story here and I am very deeply appalled about how people in shelters sea world and animal farms etc. Can treat animals like that. It is horrible, we as people need to help and speak out for the animals cause they can’t speak out for themselves. We must act now animals have feelings and rights too so we must fight for them. We must do it now. People are horrible who do these kinds of acts. People who do awful things to animals should have the same thing done to them. Simple as that.

  • aqua22 says:

    You should also think about boycotting countries that are notoriously lax about animal welfare. I was planning a trip to Greece a couple of years ago but after doing a bit of research I discovered that there is a widespread disregard for animals welfare and it seems to be part of the culture and their mentality. They have a ridiculous stray dog population. These dogs are often beaten if they don’t die of starvation or exposure first. I realize that some developing countries care little for the welfare of their own people let alone the lives of animals but Greece is not a developing nation (albeit a financially troubled one) so there is no excuse. I am boycotting Greece.

  • CAROL KUBOTA says:

    that is so terrible how animals are mistreated and confined!! poor babies!! housing for them needs to be changed!!!

  • veronica diaz says:

    Please treat animals better!!!!! Treat them like you want to be treated!!!!!!!! thank you!

  • Carol M says:

    If you want to humanely interact with animals you should visit Farm Sanctuary sites. This group deserves support and it is heartwarming to see such an abused group of animals (food animals) treated so lovingly and humanely.

  • chander kumar soni says:

    horrible, dangerous, and killer destinations.

  • PatConley says:

    When I viewed a video showing farmed pigs in cages so small they could not lay down on their sides, I was appalled. Their facial expressions cried out to me, “Help me, please help me.” I cannot get that agonizing vision out of my mind but the one good thing is that it keeps me on the straight and narrow of a vegan diet.

  • Lora says:

    The ancient souls of these innocent beings, the animals of the Earth, are routinely treated with immeasurable cruelty by humankind. Their suffering is immeasurable. Much recent research has been completed showing that animals suffer substantially more than human beings when taken from their flocks, heards, and nests and/or raised in captivity and forced to provide human beings with pleasure, only suffering in pain. PLEASE HELP RAISE THE CONSCIOUSNESS AND DO NOT GO TO THESE PLACES. PLEASE REPORT ABUSE OF THESE KIND AND GENTLE CREATURES.

  • SpeakingForTheAnimals says:

    It’s horrible to think that these animals are confined to small spaces for human entertainment. I haven’t stepped into the aquarium or zoo in quite some time – I live in Vancouver B.C., Canada. I believe zoos and aquariums should be strictly for rehabilitation and nothing more. Once the animals are well enough on their own then they should be released into the wild [where they belong!] I also went Vegetarian for my love of all animals. It just breaks my heart.

  • C Kirby says:

    Three Bears Gift Shop in Pigeon Forge, TN is another place where Moon Bears are kept.They have a better home than they use to, but they still stand at the door and just rock back and forth.They are beautiful bears from China and they belong in the wild not on cement floors.

  • linda says:


  • linda says:


  • All4paws says:

    It absolutely sickens me to think that animals are being treated this way. They do not deserve this, we build our cities where they live and throw them in shelters and do cruel experiments on them, and that’s just sick. Human beings who treat animals like this are nothing but scum of the earth and not worthy of the air they breathe.

  • Jo Gallop says:

    Don’t go to Dollywood , Pigeon Forge,TN. GatlinburgTN, or Cherekee NC they have bears in pits on continuos eating binges because of the crap people drop in the pits, what a horrible demeaning life for our creatures of the wild..

  • Jujubes says:

    Marineland is a disgrace. Went there without knowing there were wild animals in it; took my daughter and hated every minute of it. Tourists were prompted to pay $2-3 for a small paper cup of sugarcoated corn puffs to feed the great bears; 15-20 belugas crammed in a tiny tank too small for even a couple of them to swim around without bumping into each other. Deer kept at deer park completely dependent on you feeding them more junk.

    I am sick and disgusted by these places. Sadly there is no law against these places. So many parents take their kids there to look at the bears, look at the whales, not knowing that these don’t belong in an amusement park.

  • Abhishek says:

    Absolutely pathetic. I always thought that animals there were treated with care and feelings. Now I wish never to step into zoos.

  • deanna stvens says:

    my chidren or grandchildren will never go to any organization that allows this horrible and inhumane treatment. my heart just aches for their suffering. the bible says whatever is done to the least of mime is done to me!

  • amber91 says:

    I am 100% for PETA, but I must say I believe that a lot of the comments written about these attractions have been exaggerated. I have been to a lot of these places and like I said before I don’t think it is about as they have made it seem. That is only my opinion though. I could be completely wrong because I have never seen behind closed doors.

  • Helen Sayers says:

    In momments of greastest horror and despair I long for a ‘benovolent’ invasion by far more advanced beings who would liberate all other living beings from the cruelty inflicted on them by the human animal and instead relegate humans to the same fate they have inflicted on ‘animals’ for so long. Obviously these beings would have advanced genentics knowledge, and with it would seperate those of us who do care for and fight for better treatment all the beautiful and unique beings who share this planet with us and we would simply be given a higher level of compasssion. A true version of the reap what you sow proverb. Given the immesity of the universe, not an impossible dream, but still taking far too long.
    right now it would be far more valuable for EVERYONE who cared to start making their voice heard!! To boycott circuses and zoos, organisise mass protests against laboratories and simply make sure they buy only garanteed cruelty free products. It isn’t hard to live this way! Some of us do, all should!! It also doesn’t take much time out of your week to write to your local MP. Nothing changes unless, so called ‘good’ people DO something!! Politicians will only ever be motivated to change and enforce far better ‘animal’ protection laws, if enough of us make so much ‘noise’ they can no longer just ignore it!! One of the worst things you can do is to do nothing!!

  • maddy says:

    I didnt know this ntil now, it is horrible to see that humans can get away with treating animals so badley. thanks peta for telling me about this !

  • jerry says:

    the same kind of inhumane treatment goes into the food we eat eggs are takin from chickinsthat are stacked as high as 5 storys in cages barely big enuogh to turn around in,with nothing but wire mesh seperating the ones on the bottom from the ones on top.thousands of chickins all covered in the droppings of the chickins above them,the industry would probably deny these claims,but i have seen it with my own eyes.there is also the dairy industry that keeps hundreds of cows locked up in a barn for their hole life,feeding them hormones to make them produce more milk.the female calfs get turned into milk cows,and the males spend their short life in complete darkness before they get slautered and sold as veal.a good percent of calves that are born are either dead on arival or die shortly after,i think these are the lucky ones.i could go on about the way beef catle are treated at feed lots(everyone should watch fast food nation,it may be a movie but it shows the reality of where are food comes from)the reality is that the movie doesnt even show the hole picture of what these animals go through before they become our food.

  • Lesley says:

    People who hurt animals should be caged and abused just the same!!!! WTF!!!!

  • alessia says:

    tutto per l’ egoismo dell’ uomo che si diverte a scapito della natura e dei suoi esseri viventi!!

  • Gianna Macias says:

    Any organization or person who cannot take proper care of an animal, pet, wild animal, farm animals, working animals, should be banned from working and or owning animals. If they neglect of abuse them they should be fined. If the reason is ignorance they should be educated and still be fined. Organization who have neglected animals should help financially organization who do care for them.

  • carol ann says:

    Heather Howe, you are a star. If only more people were brave enough to take on some of the animal abuses that go on in the tourist spots. I cannot believe that people still go to view the water world parks with dolphins and whales in captivity when these days, the whole world knows it is barbaric.

  • jeka says:

    pathetic. Humans treat animals horribly and get paid to do it? WTF?

  • beverly gannon says:

    This is terrible, sad and heartbreaking. Animals need to be FREE not caged . sET THEM free.

  • Heather Howe says:

    Ethical tourism is something everybody should take seriously and if you travel you need to report cases of animal abuse to animal rights organizations as well as confront tourists who are unwittingly using and abusing animals.. Recently my husband, who is a travel journalist, and who exposes animal abuses in foreign countries, and I visited Petra in Jordan where abused donkeys are forced to climb up 700 steep steps to a monastery with fat tourists on their backs. I reported this to the Brooks Clinic who are doing great work trying to change the attitudes of owners of working and tourism donkeys. Another place that abuses donkeys is Santorini in GreeK islands where donkeys also have to climb up steep steps carrying tourists. We accosted tourists who were riding the donkeys and tried to explain to them the injuries and suffering the donkeys experienced. It is good to go in “armed” and have good responses to their assertions, e.g. one tourist said that the donkeys bring in money for the community – we retaliated by saying, well, yes so does sex tourism bring in money to the community but that does not make it legitimate or ethical!

  • Mariette Eriksson says:

    Yeah.. dont go to places like that, all animals should be free, and enyoj their lives.

  • Lorraine Gadoury says:

    May God help those sadistic horrible excuses for human beings!!!

  • DIANE C. DEAN says:


  • Erika says:

    The animals are creatures and they deserve respect.

  • Beth L says:

    this is disgusting. I’m from Canada and I boycott all animal killing kingdoms such as marineland, any zoo and safari. Apparently John Holder, owner of Marineland, hit a protestor outside of Marineland with his truck. I have met him, and he is a disgusting man. I agree with everyone else… if it weren’t for humans, mother nature and her animals would flourish. Humans are hateful and ignorant. I could go on about this all day…

  • Eileen McGovern says:

    I’m so glad I found this out as I was planning to go to Vallejo’s 6 Flags with my brother and his kids in just a couple weeks! No way will we go now! I didn’t know they used animals at all. I thought it was just rides and things like that! I will never support any place that uses animals! I will spread the word to my friends with kids!

  • Edyta says:

    well done on orca that kill people who train them, they were born to be free, not to be amusement for boring, sad people. If nature protected itself the way it should, humans would disappear within days.

  • cg says:

    It’s not enough to ‘preach to the converted’ about these places. It’s important to speak up and educate those who either have no clue or who are in denial (family members, for example) about the abuses that go on. Take a stand, even if it’s unpopular. I’ve lost friends in the process of trying to explain the issues. So be it.

  • carol caver says:

    This is as incredible synopsis of abject cruelty to animals imposed by humans in the name of entertainment. Thank you for compiling the information into a “Don’t go there!” list.

  • Danielle00 says:

    I remember visiting one of these parks in Koh Samui, Thailand and seeing beautiful, huge tigers living in tiny, dirty cages. When I saw the “show” (the tigers made to jump through hoops of fire) I could not stop the tears running down my face. I will never again visit one of these parks, circuses or anywhere that abuses animals in these ways. If you want to see animals, it is a million times more rewarding (and educational for children)to save the money and see animals in their natural habitat by going on a safari.

  • lina solima says:


  • Jeannine Ferris says:

    When I spoke to God, I asked him to take care of all of the animals
    on earth, because they are very precious to me.It sickens me to read about all the cruelty to animals being held captive in all of
    these places.God spoke back to me and said that all of my wishes
    would come true.I’ll be the happiest person in the world when he
    saves all my animals from such cruelty.

  • Kévi says:

    Well … i think that there are some great ” wildlife park ” kinda zoo in the world ! Just think about kamloops Wild life park in bristish columbia … all their animals are ”saved ” animals. I mean they save their life … and try to make them better so they could go back in the wild but some cant go back like that bald eagle i remember … but the thing is … he’s still alive and without that park he wouldnt be … sorry for my english im french …. The only thing i want to say is … choose who you support …

  • lora-animal lover & vegan says:

    If we do not spend the money-the animals will not be captured and held in captivity. Money is the motivation behind zoos and “sea world” creations. Let all of the creatures God gave to planet earth enjoy the “natural habitats” God created (not man) for them! Come on, humans-stand up for the innocents!

  • Rev. Meg Schramm says:

    I absolutely refuse to go to zoos. Zoos remind me of the concentration and internment camps operating all over the world in WWII, with one glaring difference: for the animals imprisoned there, the war is never over, and they will never be released.

  • janis dix says:

    exactly what i think.i would never visit any of those places.

  • St. Louis Zoo says:

    Maybe their punishment after death will to be put in a cage for eternity.

  • Hillary Moore says:

    This just makes me ill!

  • Pamela Reep says:

    There is no excuse for treating these animals without the respect they diserve. They were not created to be mistreated,abused, terible conditions. All for the sake of entertainment and fashion.
    This brutality nees to stop.
    Have some compation! Pamela Green Reep

  • GRANT says: forgot international destinations..such as..the murderous faroe islands which were voted by some travel magazines as some of the best islands left in the world..little did the editors of those mags know what goes on there a few times a yaer every year for over a 1,0000 years is the mass butchering of entire families of pilot whales with meathooks and knives on the beach where the entire town small kids included join in the bloodsport with big smiles on their ugly ass faces!! steer clear of that hellhole unless you wanna go there and protest or kick some ass!!

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