Waccatee Zoo Named ‘Worst Roadside Zoo in America’

PETA Runs Billboard Urging Visitors to Stay Away, Says Balding Tiger and Other Animals Need Help Now

For Immediate Release:
July 11, 2020

David Perle 202-483-7382

Myrtle Beach, S.C. – As reported today by the New York Post, PETA has named the Waccatee Zoo the worst roadside zoo in America, and a new video shows one of the reasons why: A tiger named Lila, who has lost almost all of her fur, paces back and forth—a sign of psychological distress—behind bars at Waccatee. PETA has also put up a new billboard in Myrtle Beach that shows Lila and urges, “Don’t Stop at Roadside Zoos!”

“Suffering is on display at the Waccatee Zoo, where big cats, primates, and bears pace endlessly or even attack themselves in barren cages,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet, who appears in Netflix’s Tiger King docuseries. “These animals need help now, and PETA stands ready to help transport them 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 issues. The roadside zoo was previously cited for failing to provide animals—including a lion who had difficulty walking—with adequate veterinary care and for keeping bears and cougars in enclosures that lack adequate space.

PETA’s billboard is located on U.S. Highway 17, south of Harrelson Boulevard, facing northeast.

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 PETA.org.


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