Plagued by a barn fire that claimed the lives of 27 animals, allegations from PETA about animal abuse, U.S. Department of Agriculture investigations and fines, the retirement of long-time director David Meeks, and lackluster revenues, Hollywild Animal Park in Inman is seeking direction from the public.
Leaders of the 100-acre park are reaching out to the community in a last-ditch effort to raise money or close permanently. The nonprofit park needs to raise $500,000 by the end of the year, said new executive director Kim Atchley. Another $250,000 annually would be needed for renovations, marketing and maintenance, she said. Currently, Hollywild’s annual Holiday Lights Safari is the park’s main fundraising effort each year.
To “raise the bar on our practices,” Atchley said the park hired a new animal curator, S. Nigel Platt, a seasoned veteran in zookeeping who has served as an AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums) inspector.
Hollywild will continue to solicit community feedback through on online survey at surveymonkey.com/r/LPLXL2P. The park is asking for donations or in-kind gifts. A GoFundMe page has also been set up at gofundme.com/yjqwqvfy.