PETA Gas Station Ad Blitz Targets ‘Worst Roadside Zoo in America’

Group Urges Travelers to Avoid Waccatee Zoo; Sick Tiger, Other Animals in Trouble at Rundown Facility

For Immediate Release:
September 15, 2020

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Myrtle Beach, S.C. – “Warning: Sick, Suffering Tiger. DON’T Stop at Roadside Zoos!” That’s the message on new PETA ads that have just been put up at various local gas stations alerting drivers to the plight of Lila, a tiger who is suffering from illness and nearly bald and yet continues to be displayed at the Waccatee Zoo—which was recently called out by PETA as the worst roadside zoo in America.

“Lila the tiger is in trouble, and so are other animals who are being slowly driven insane inside the Waccatee Zoo’s small, barren cages,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel for Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet. “These animals need help, and PETA is ready and willing to arrange for their transport to reputable facilities that would care for them properly.”

Other animals at the Waccatee Zoo have recently been seen with severely overgrown hooves and significant hair loss, and the facility is in general disrepair, with dirty and unsanitary conditions, insecure fencing, and other problems. The roadside zoo was previously cited for failing to provide animals—including a lion who had trouble walking—with adequate veterinary care and for keeping bears and cougars in enclosures lacking adequate space.

PETA recently erected a billboard with the same message near the Waccatee Zoo, and in July, actor Minka Kelly sent a letter on PETA’s behalf urging the roadside zoo to send Lila to a reputable sanctuary.

PETA’s ads are located at gas stations at 595 Burcale Rd., 7981 Hwy. 544, 727 Main St., and 8545 Hwy. 544.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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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