Alligator and Turtle Displays Are Removed From Two Florida McDonald’s

April 2002

PETA received complaints about alligators and turtles on display at a Florida McDonald’s. We learned that the animals were provided by a notoriously cruel area alligator park called Gatorland. We had investigated this facility in 1995 and found horrifying conditions for animals. Alligators were being used for photo ops with visitors and were usually killed with blows from a baseball bat to their skulls. Visitors watched as the animals were forced to “wrestle” with workers.

After learning of the display, we immediately wrote to the general manager of the McDonald’s, imploring him to remove it. We also wrote to Orange County Animal Services and the Department of Professional Regulations, asking them to investigate the situation for violations of animal protection and health regulations.

The Department of Professional Regulations required the McDonald’s to immediately remove the display, along with a similar one at another location.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind