An animal rights group wants a second federal investigation into the fire at the Hollywild Animal Park in Spartanburg County that killed more than two dozen animals earlier this month.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is asking the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to investigate possible violations of the Endangered Species Act. Several endangered lemurs were among the animals killed by smoke inhalation during the January 9 fire in Hollywild’s primate barn.
PETA also wants some of animals the surviving animals removed from the park. “We are also calling on the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to seize any endangered animals who may have survived the smoke inhalation and allow them to be retired to reputable sanctuaries,” Deputy Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet told South Carolina Radio Network.
PETA claims that there were no smoke detectors in the barn, and no staff members were on the grounds at the time. The PETA complaint alleges this is in violation of the National Fire Protection Association Standard on Fire and Life Safety in Animal Housing Facilities, which requires sprinklers and alarm systems. PETA has asked federal officials to seize any other endangered animals at the park, which contains about 500 animals.
A Hollywild spokeswoman said the zoo has never had any compliance issues over the lack of a smoke detector and the park is not required to have staff on site at all hours.
Peet said the wildlife park has a history of not playing by the rules. “Hollywild was cited for violations for more than twenty animal welfare act violations in 2014 alone,” she said.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which licenses zoos and other animal attractions, is already investigating the fire.