PETA calls for authorities to strip Hollywild of license after f - FOX Carolina 21

PETA calls for authorities to strip Hollywild of license after fire

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Officials said more than 25 animals died in the fire. (Jan 9, 2015/FOX Carolina) Officials said more than 25 animals died in the fire. (Jan 9, 2015/FOX Carolina)
WELLFORD, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Dozens of animals died after a fire at Hollywild Animal Park in Spartanburg County on Friday morning, Holly Springs Fire Chief Brent Blackwell confirmed to FOX Carolina. 

Blackwell said they received the call at 9:15 a.m. about a fire at the park. 

Blackwell said 28 died in the fire and more than a dozen survived. However, Hollywild said in a news release that 27 animals died in the fire. 

The fire started with a short in a wire in the lights and went up into the ceiling of the metal building where they stored the animals, according to Blackwell. He said the fire went across the ceiling of the barn, but never burned the outside. 

Blackwell said the smoke killed the animals. 

Hollywild officials said the building was the primate barn, and the following animals lost their lives: two capuchins, four chimpanzees, two baboons, seven lemurs, two mangabeys, one bear cub, one African crowned crane, three tortoises, four wolf hybrid puppies and one barn cat. 

Officials said the 14 survivors included: five tortoises, one wallaroo, two baboons, one dog, two wolf hybrid puppies, one ring-tailed lemur, and 2-year-old bear cubs.

The fire has been ruled an accident at this time. 

Hollywild officials said animal care staff member Jay Gossett found smoke in the barn when he arrived to work at 8:30 a.m. Park officials said he immediately called for help and opened the doors to improve ventilation. 

“Jay is definitely a hero here. His quick action helped other animals survive,” said Richie Sanders, Hollywild's animal staff supervisor.

“This is very devastating to me and the entire Hollywild family. At this point, we do not feel any animals are suffering. None were burned. The survivors are recovering from smoke inhalation. It appears it was a quick and painless death for the animals that died,” said Dr. Beverly Hargus, Hollywild's veterinarian. “It is terribly tragic, but sadly, it is the kind of thing that can happen anywhere.”

A private memorial service open to Hollywild staff only will be held at 1 p.m. on Sunday.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals foundation deputy general counsel Delcianna Winders released the following statement in response to the fire: 

Enough is enough. There's been enough neglect at Hollywild Animal Park, PETA has filed enough complaints about this decrepit facility, and the authorities have cited it for enough violations of federal animal-protection law. Hollywild's dangerously ramshackle enclosures and failure to provide animals with adequate veterinary care should have gotten it shut down long ago, and now dozens of animals have died. PETA is calling on the authorities to take action, strip Hollywild of its license, and ensure that no more animals die.

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