PETA calls on wildlife officers to investigate Colorado Gator Farm, shut facility down

The calls follow a destructive fire at the facility that killed a number of rescue animals.
Published: Apr. 26, 2023 at 5:15 AM MDT|Updated: Apr. 26, 2023 at 6:28 AM MDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MOSCA, Colo. (KKTV) - Following a devastating fire at the Colorado Gator Farm, PETA is calling on state wildlife officers to investigate the park -- and shut it down for good.

In a letter shared with 11 News, the animal rights group accused Colorado Parks and Wildlife of “blindly” renewing the park’s license year after year, despite PETA’s repeated calls for an investigation into the facility’s alleged code violations.

“PETA has repeatedly urged Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) to investigate this facility and take appropriate enforcement action,” PETA wrote in the letter to CPW. “But year over year, CPW appears to blindly renew its license. For the safety and protection of the remaining animals at Colorado Gators Reptile Park, and for those frequenting the facility, please do not ignore this renewed request. This facility should not be permitted to reopen and continue to jeopardize the safety of the remaining animals, including two Nile Crocodiles -- a species classified as threatened under the Endangered Species Act -- or any newly added animals.”

The fire at the iconic San Luis Valley facility on April 18 left numerous rescue animals dead and caused extensive damage to the reptile barn. The park said the cause of the blaze was still under investigation but that arson was not suspected.

PETA suggested the fire was just the latest in a string of questionable incidents linked to the park.

“Apparently, tragedies associated with poor facility maintenance are a repeat occurrence at this facility,” it wrote.

The letter went on to claim a report prepared by PETA and given to Colorado Parks and Wildlife in 2021 showed that the park was failing to comply with Alamosa County code requirements, as well as meet the standards set by its zoological park license.

“It does not appear that CPW followed through on its plans to inspect the facility,” the letter said.

The letter concluded with a renewed call for Colorado Parks and Wildlife to investigate the park.

“Before any more animals -- or the public -- suffer because of ... apparent disregard for this fundamental license requirement, PETA urges CPW to investigate Colorado Gators Reptile Park and undertake appropriate enforcement action.”

The full letter can be read here.

Colorado Gator Farm responded to PETA’s letter with a statement on social media:

“We take every concern seriously, and work closely with CPW in resolving any issues. We have always been committed to providing the best care possible for all the rescues, even when they come to us in poor condition. We spend tens of thousands of dollars each year on veterinary care. We have been constantly upgrading our facilities every year as many of our regular visitors can tell you, and constant improvement is our mission. While we are devastated and heartbroken about our recent tragedy, we still have hundreds of healthy animals to care for. Thousands have offered love and support, and urged us to continue. We are already getting calls about more animals in need and will take them in as soon as our new facility is ready. Thank you for your continued support.”