After Deadly Fire at Colorado Gators Wildlife Park, PETA Demands Shutdown

For Immediate Release:
April 24, 2023

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Mosca, Colo. – Today, after learning that hundreds of animals, including tortoises, snakes, lizards, parrots, and cats, died in a recent fire at Colorado Gators Wildlife Park, PETA fired off a letter to Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW), urging the agency to investigate the park and revoke its permit as appropriate to prevent it from reopening. PETA points out that the closure would protect the public, stop the park from acquiring more animals, and protect those remaining—including two Nile crocodiles, a species classified as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, who are believed to have survived the inferno.

In its letter, PETA notes that tragedies are a repeat occurrence at the park and have included the deaths of 12 alligators who developed pneumonia after a hot-water pipe malfunctioned and went unnoticed for days. One report prepared by reptile experts who visited the site documents that animals were suffering from wounds, infections, and poor living conditions, such as splintering cages and a leaking roof.

Despite the report—to which PETA alerted the CPW in 2021—and repeated calls for the agency to investigate the park, no public records document that it has done so.

“These animals must have been in agony as they were engulfed by flames with no means of escape, and it’s up to officials to prevent another crisis at Colorado Gators Wildlife Park,” says PETA Foundation General Counsel Lori Kettler. “PETA is calling on CPW to do its job and stop blindly approving the license year after year for this deathtrap of a roadside zoo.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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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