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The latest TikTok obsession is a Texas “animal sanctuary” that lets customers swim with otters and interact with other imprisoned animals.


Swim with otters at 📍Blue Hills Ranch near Waco, Texas! #texascheck #texas #texastravel #bluehillsranch #wacotexas #otters #ottersoftiktok

♬ The King – Sarah Kinsley

A travel blogger @readysetjetset made TikToks of her time at the Blue Hills Ranch, a 150-acre giraffe and animal sanctuary. Blue Hills Ranch is home to many other exotic animals like zebras, camels, kangaroos, mini donkeys, giraffes, emus, axis deer, and Scottish highland cows.

The ranch lets customers pay $300 per person to swim with their otters. @readysetjetset’s videos of her time at the sanctuary have gotten millions of views, and many people now more people want to pay to swim with these otters. However cute the animals may seem, Blue Hills Ranch is just another place imprisoning these wild animals for a profit.

According to Roadside Zoo News, Blue Hills Ranch is operating illegally. As of September 2021, they did not have a license from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which violates federal law.

Guests can also pay a large amount to feed a baby giraffe with a bottle. The giraffe was stolen from its mother and “donated” to the ranch by Dominique Ferraro, who owns Zebras R Us. The sale of endangered species is illegal, but these sneaky roadside zoos often get around this law by calling a sale a “donation.” According to Roadside Zoo News, Ferraro is also illegally breeding, dealing, and transporting animals.

USDA records show that Blue Hills Ranch has not obtained the federally required license to exhibit animals, and many people do not know the extent to which these animals have to deal with. We need to speak up and out about these places that call themselves sanctuaries when they just take animals out of their natural habitats to trap them to make a quick buck off of people. Otters, along with the other animals here, deserve to be free and not in cages too small and forced to interact with humans. Sign this petition to save otters!

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