Not All Retirees Are Human

By Susan Aiello • Published: July 1st, 2011
Category: Animal Airwaves

Florida has many things in abundance, including oranges, tourists and, especially, retirees. But not all senior citizens are human.

Tigers from the circus, aging zoo elephants and even chimps that starred in Tarzan movies often end up in the myriad animal sanctuaries dotting the Florida landscape. For most animals, these refuges provide a warm-weather haven where they can enjoy their final years.

But some shelters have become the focus of criticism and even prosecution. Some do not provide proper care for animals, often because of shrinking budgets. Others have been accused of exploitation because they charge tourists or use animals in fundraising stunts.

Many sanctuaries do their best to provide affordable care for abandoned creatures. But with people’s differing perspectives on these shelters, the only thing that’s black and white may be the color of the zebras.