In the hit Netflix documentary Tiger King, many people were shocked at the implications that Joe Exotic may have intentionally burned down a reptile building, killing 8 animals. However, just four days after Tiger King was released, Wisconsin’s Special Memories Zoo lost more than 36 animals to a suspicious fire. Special Memories Zoo had done business with Joe Exotic and purchased big cat cubs from him shortly after his fire in 2015.
Whether through arson, accident or negligence, roadside zoo fires are a common occurrence. There have been at least five roadside zoo fires in the past six years, taking the lives of more than 196 animals. Here is Roadside Zoo News’ list of suspicious roadside zoo fires since 2015.
March 26, 2015-GW Zoo-Greater Wynnewood, OK-8 animals killed.
January 12, 2016-Wildlife in Need-Charlestown, IN-41 animals killed
December 15, 2016-Woodland Park Zoo-Seattle, WA-6 animals killed
December 4, 2017-Little Ponderosa Zoo-Clinton, TN-45 animals killed.
November 20, 2018-Heritage Park Zoo, Prescott, AZ-1 animal killed
November 28, 2019-African Safari Wildlife Park-Port Clinton, OH-10 animals killed
March 24, 2020-Special Memories Zoo-Hortonville, WI-36 animals killed
July 20, 2020-Plumpton Park Zoo-Rising Sun, MD-6 animals killed.
February 8, 2021-Pymatuning Deer Park-Jamestown, PA-2 animals killed.
February 21, 2021-Enchanted Forest Exotic Animal Sanctuary-Newcastle, CA-40 animals killed
March 8, 2021-Roer’s Zoofari-Vienna, VA-2 animals killed
As more and more roadside zoos continue popping up across the United States, and the world, you can expect to see increasing numbers of fires at these places. It is incredibly tragic to think that innocent animals may be burned alive while locked in cages at roadside zoos, all for the sake of greed.