After Deadly Fire, PETA Calls On Hollywild to Relinquish Surviving Primates for Safety’s Sake

In Light of Recent Fire at Notorious Facility, PETA Pushes for Three Remaining Primates to Be Sent to a Sanctuary

For Immediate Release:
January 12, 2015

David Perle 202-483-7382

Wellford, S.C.

After a fire killed at least 28 animals at Hollywild Animal Park, PETA sent a letter this morning calling on the Wellford roadside zoo’s executive director to retire the three surviving primates (two baboons and a ring-tailed lemur) to a reputable sanctuary, and PETA is willing to help.

As PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—points out in its letter, at a sanctuary, the animals would receive the rehabilitation needed to recover from the trauma of likely witnessing other animals die around them in the fire. The highly social primates would also have the opportunity to interact with others of their kind and likely be integrated into a new social group, which is essential for their well-being.

“The animals who died last week in Hollywild’s barn will never be able to roam, climb, or swing through a beautiful, lush sanctuary, but it’s not too late for the three primates who survived,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders. “PETA stands ready to help Hollywild transfer these highly social animals to a reputable sanctuary where they’ll be able to recover from their traumatic ordeal in the company of other members of their species.”

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PETA’s letter to Hollywild Animal Park Executive Director David Meeks follows.


January 12, 2015


David Meeks
Executive Director
Hollywild Animal Park


Re: Retirement of Surviving Primates


Dear Mr. Meeks:

I would like to initially express my condolences for the many losses you suffered on Friday. I am writing on PETA’s behalf to urge you to allow Hollywild’s three surviving primates to be retired to reputable sanctuaries where they can live out their lives and receive the specialized care they need to recover from the physical and psychological trauma that they undoubtedly suffered in last week’s fire. The animals who died will never have the opportunity to roam, climb, and swing through large, naturalistic enclosures with others of their kind, but the surviving animals could. Please prioritize the welfare of these animals, who have been through so much and accept PETA’s offer to arrange for the two surviving baboons and the ring-tailed lemur to be transferred to a sanctuary.

As you may know, baboons and lemurs are highly intelligent animals and social groups are essential for their psychological well-being. These animals survived an ordeal that killed others of their species, and they likely witnessed their conspecifics and other animals suffer and die. You have the opportunity to do something kind and wonderful in the face of this horrible incident by allowing at least these three surviving animals to live out their lives in sanctuaries. Reputable sanctuaries can provide them with the rehabilitation that they need to recover from this trauma and the opportunity to be integrated into a new social group.

PETA stands ready to place the two surviving baboons and the ring-tailed lemur in reputable sanctuaries and to pay all costs associated with the transfer. PETA is also prepared to discuss placement and transport of any of the other surviving animals to appropriate sanctuaries.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Very truly yours,

Brittany Peet
Deputy Director | Captive Animal Law Enforcement
PETA Foundation

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