Lila the Tiger and 9 Others Who Deserve So Much Better Than Waccatee Zoo

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4 min read

Thanks to PETA supporters like you, we made big-cat terrorizer Tim Stark irrelevant and rescued multiple animals from his now-defunct roadside zoo, Wildlife in Need. But we need your continued support to help animals trapped at another longtime PETA target: Waccatee Zoo, the worst roadside zoo in America.

Together, we can work to get animals like Lila the tiger moved to reputable facilities where they can have some peace on Earth at last.

Get to know just a few of the animals exploited and driven insane at this roadside zoo in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina:

Lila the Tiger

Tigers are known for their unique coat patterns, which (in nature) help them camouflage themselves, making them almost invisible in the forest as they travel vast distances. But Lila no longer looks like a tiger—she is almost completely bald and spends her days pacing in a deplorable cage.

Lila the tiger at Waccatee Zoo
At Waccatee Zoo, exasperated-looking animals such as Lila the tiger are often seen pacing back and forth.

Simba and Princess, Lions

In nature, lions work together to solve tasks and females form highly stable, maternal groups. But Simba …

Simba the lion at Waccatee Zoo
Simba has shown significant weakness and lack of coordination in his rear legs, which may be the result of malnutrition or another type of health condition. He’s been displaying the same symptoms for years with little to no improvement.

… and Princess …

Princess the lion at Waccatee Zoo
Gazing into Princess’ sad eyes through the chain-link fence is enough to crush your heart.

… are forced to live separately and alone in cramped, dismal enclosures.

Care Bear and Spook, Black Bears

In their natural habitats, you’ll find black bears biting, clawing, and rubbing against trees and other objects to leave messages for each other. Visit Waccatee and you’ll spot Care Bear and Spook with nothing to do but pace or sit in a shallow pool of dirty water.

A black bear at Waccatee Zoo experiences severe hair loss in large patches on various areas.

Tucker and Hope, Long-Tailed Macaques

Long-tailed macaques are excellent swimmers and enjoy sleeping in trees that hang over rivers, but at Waccatee, Tucker and Hope live in a small cage and have been observed attacking their own limbs, likely out of frustration or desperation.

Give Tucker and Hope some hope: Tell Waccatee Zoo owner Kathleen Futrell that you’ll never visit the worst roadside zoo in America—and let her know why.

Ernie and Maxine, Red Foxes

In nature, red foxes have a large main den with additional burrows for sleeping and hiding. But at America’s worst roadside zoo, Ernie and Maxine live in a small, barren cage with nothing to do and only plastic barrels for shelter.

Ernie and Maxine, red foxes, at Waccatee Zoo
Dismal fur farm or Waccatee Zoo? It’s pretty hard to tell.

Jake the Tufted Capuchin

When male tufted capuchins have been separated for a time, they often approach one another quickly, embrace, and loudly vocalize, much like humans who’ve spent time away from their loved ones. But Jake doesn’t get to live with other capuchins. Instead, he’s been seen exhibiting signs of severe psychological distress: shaking, clutching, and even biting himself.

Jake the tufted capuchin at Waccatee Zoo
Could you imagine being confined here while strangers stop and stare at you?


These are only some of the animals trapped within this real-life house of horrors’ small, unkempt enclosures. Sha-Sha (a pig-tailed macaque); Handsome, Jocko Jr., and Lil Trix (hamadryas baboons); and Clyde (a camel) …

Clyde the camel at Waccatee Zoo
Although camels are very social animals who greet one another with a friendly blow in the face, for years, Clyde has lived alone in a completely barren enclosure with nothing to do and no one to befriend.

… are also neglected and left to suffer in desolate conditions. So we’re calling on Waccatee to do the right thing: Send these tormented animals to reputable facilities where they can have some peace on Earth at last. And the good news is that you can help! Please print a letter saying that you pledge not to visit Waccatee and mail it to the owner, Kathleen Futrell:

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