July 6, 2014
ROANOKE, Va. (AP) - An animal advocacy group is targeting the Mill Mountain Zoo in its campaign to draw attention to animals used for entertainment.
Roanoke Animal Advocates plans to protest at the zoo on July 12, a day after the zoo holds a fundraiser.
Founder Susan Thomas tells The Roanoke Times that the 35-member group wants the zoo to close. She says the group wants the zoo's animals to be sent to sanctuaries.
Mill Mountain Zoo executive director Ray-Eric Correia says the group's members are well-meaning. He says it's a philosophical argument.
Correia says the group thinks zoos shouldn't exist. He says the zoo serves three purposes - conservation, education and recreation.
He says none of the animals at the zoo were taken from the wild.