Help keep One Green Planet free and independent! Together we can ensure our platform remains a hub for empowering ideas committed to fighting for a sustainable, healthy, and compassionate world. Please support us in keeping our mission strong.
World Animal Protection’s newest report, Devastating Deals: How Groupon Rakes in Profits from Wild Animal Exploitation, reveals Groupon routinely partners with captive wildlife venues that exploit animals, including some of the cruelest venues in the U.S. With each deal sold, Groupon is fueling the wildlife entertainment industry while taking a cut of the profits.
Below are some examples of venues Groupon has sold to over the last five years. They include roadside zoos, pseudosanctuaries (roadside zoos that brand themselves as sanctuaries or refuges in an attempt to mislead visitors), marine amusement parks, and petting zoos, which offer harmful interactions between visitors and animals and cause immense suffering.
1. Tiger Creek Animal Sanctuary (Texas)
A pseudosanctuary with a history of big cat suffering and deaths. Nine lions and tigers have died at Tiger Creek just since 2018.
2. SeaQuest (National)
A chain of “interactive” aquariums with a litany of federal violations, animal deaths, and human injuries across its locations. Animals have been drowned, kicked, crushed, and burned to death.
3. Zoological Wildlife Foundation (Florida)
A roadside zoo owned by Mario Tabraue of “Tiger King” fame. The facility has chronic animal care violations and offers extensive interactions with big cats and other wild animals.
4. Everglades Outpost Wildlife Rescue (Florida)
A pseudosanctuary that peddles cruel alligator shows and encounters. Visitors pay to hold juvenile alligators with their mouths taped shut, giving the animals no opportunity to retreat
5. Miami Seaquarium (Florida)
A marine amusement park with numerous animal care violations and animal deaths. Miami Seaquarium holds Tokitae, a female orca, without orca companionship in what is reportedly the smallest tank in the world.
6. Endangered Ark Foundation (Oklahoma)
A pseudosanctuary founded by the Carson & Barnes Circus that offers cruel interactions with elephants through the company Oklahoma Awesome Adventures.
7. Suncoast Primate Sancutary (Florida)
A pseudosanctuary where dozens of nonhuman primates are housed in barren cages. Though it portrays itself as a refuge for nonhuman primates, the facility lost its federal license and later rebranded as a sanctuary.
8. Debbie Dolittle’s Indoor Petting Zoo/City Goat Farm & Zoo Inc (Washington)
A petting zoo that offers wild animal interactions, Debbie Dolittle’s has a substantial number of public safety incidents and a history of poor animal care. Malia, a sloth, and a young tamandua both died due to the facility’s ignorance of animal care.
The Bottom Line
The venues listed above are only the tip of the iceberg. Groupon deals are time-limited, meaning venues and offers change constantly. Historically, Groupon has done business with some of the most infamous wildlife exploiters in the country, including G.W. Exotic, the facility owned by Joe Maldonado, aka the Tiger King, as well as multiple circuses that used elephants in dangerous and harmful performances such as Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.
World Animal Protection U.S. and our supporters are urging Groupon to prohibit running deals for venues that offer interactions with wild animals or captive wild animal performances. We’re also urging the company to make this a public policy that encourages transparency and accountability. Join us and help us move Groupon to protect animals, not exploit them.
- Petition: Urge Groupon to Stop Promoting Greyhound Racing!
- New Activity Book Teaches Kids to Respect Wild Animals
- Wild Animals Roam on 2,500-Acre Kenya Golf Course Which The Resort Says is A ‘Wildlife Sanctuary’
- 15 Hotels and Resorts That Exploit Wild Animals For Profit
- Petition: Tell Travel Companies to Distance Themselves from Animal Exploitation
- Photographers Capture Powerful Images of Animal Exploitation Around the World
Easy Ways to Help the Planet:
- Eat Less Meat: Download Food Monster, the largest plant-based Recipe app on the App Store, to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy. You can also buy a hard or soft copy of our favorite vegan cookbooks.
- Reduce Your Fast Fashion Footprint: Take initiative by standing up against fast fashion Pollution and supporting sustainable and circular brands like Tiny Rescue that raise awareness around important issues through recycled zero-waste clothing designed to be returned and remade over and over again.
- Support Independent Media: Being publicly funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing you with high-quality content. Please consider supporting us by donating!
- Sign a Petition: Your voice matters! Help turn petitions into victories by signing the latest list of must-sign petitions to help people, animals, and the planet.
- Stay Informed: Keep up with the latest news and important stories involving animals, the environment, sustainable living, food, health, and human interest topics by subscribing to our newsletter!
- Do What You Can: Reduce waste, plant trees, eat local, travel responsibly, reuse stuff, say no to single-use plastics, recycle, vote smart, switch to cold water laundry, divest from fossil fuels, save water, shop wisely, Donate if you can, grow your food, volunteer, conserve energy, compost, and don’t forget about the microplastics and microbeads lurking in common household and personal care products!