Skip the Roadside Zoo: PETA’s List of Family Activities That Don’t Hurt Animals

For Immediate Release:
July 19, 2023

David Perle 202-483-7382

Wilmington, N.C.

As the summer travel season kicks into high gear, a new sky-high appeal from PETA has popped up just a stone’s throw from Tregembo Animal Park warning visitors away from the seedy roadside zoo, which has a long history of neglecting injured and stressed animals. Instead, PETA is offering tips for family-friendly activities in the area that don’t put money in the pockets of those who exploit animals.

“Suffering, distress, and despair are the name of the game at Tregembo, where animals pace endlessly in cramped, barren cages and concrete cells,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Michelle Sinnott. “PETA urges families to steer clear of this hellhole and instead opt for swimming, hiking, and other summer adventures that leave animals in peace.”

Here are PETA’s top 10 animal-friendly recommendations for summer fun that will delight locals and visitors of all ages:

  1. Make a splash at Jungle Rapids Family Fun Park—with a water park, mini golf, rock climbing, and an arcade all in one location.
  2. Hunt for ghosts on Wilmington’s only locally owned ghost walk, Haunted Wilmington.
  3. Catch a Wilmington Sharks baseball game.
  4. Defy gravity with extreme air sports at DEFY Wilmington.
  5. Enjoy stunning scenery and watch wildlife from a distance on a riverboat cruise.
  6. Explore the historic battleship the North Carolina.
  7. Check out some of Wilmington’s unique and fascinating museums, such as the Museum of the Bizarre or the Wilmington Railroad Museum.
  8. Kayak, camp, or hike around beautiful Masonboro Island Reserve, home to bald eagles, sea turtles, and even the occasional alligator.
  9. Take in an evening concert at the lush Airlie Gardens.
  10. Swim, surf, stroll down the boardwalk, or just relax on the sand at one of Wilmington’s three island beaches.

PETA’s message is located at 5941 Carolina Beach Rd., less than a quarter-mile south of Tregembo, where animals have been seen struggling to walk as a result of severely overgrown hooves, suffering from open wounds or hair loss, and limping or showing other signs of arthritis. Big cats are often seen pacing, and a capuchin monkey and a macaque have been observed self-attacking—all signs of severe psychological distress.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment or abuse in any other way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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