Devastating Deals: Urge Groupon to Stop Supporting Exploitative Wildlife Tourism
This week, World Animal Protection launched a new campaign against discount and travel company Groupon to convince the company to stop profiting from wild animal exploitation and adopt a wildlife-friendly policy.
Wild animals are suffering in small, barren cages in roadside zoos and marine amusement parks across the US. Terrified lemurs and sloths are used as props in photos while dolphins are made to perform unnatural tricks in front of overwhelming crowds. But these venues aren’t the only ones profiting from animal exploitation—Groupon also profits when it features discounted deals for these venues on its website.
Groupon brands itself as a “place where customers can discover new experiences every day and local businesses thrive.” It partners with businesses to offer discounted deals from goods to admission tickets, driving more customers to venues and taking a cut of the purchase price. Unfortunately, Groupon hosts numerous cruel wildlife venues on its website, sending more people—and more cash—to places that profit from the suffering of animals.
In the past several years, Groupon has promoted deals for:
- The notorious Miami Seaquarium, where Tokitae, a 56-year-old orca, has languished alone in a tiny concrete tank for more than 50 years
- Suncoast Primate Sanctuary, a pseudo-sanctuary in Florida where primates are kept in barren cages
- A Washington petting zoo where 80 people were injured during animal “encounters” in less than a year, and a sloth and tamandua died due to the facility’s lack of knowledge and experience in caring for these animals
Groupon deals are time-limited, meaning venues and offers change constantly. The cruel venues currently promoted are not a new phenomenon. Historically, Groupon has done business with some of the most infamous wildlife exploiters in the country, including Garold Wayne Interactive Zoological Park (G.W. Exotic), the facility owned by Joe Maldonado, aka the Tiger King, as well as multiple circuses that used elephants in dangerous and harmful performances such as Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.
What We’re Asking
We’re urging Groupon to adopt a wildlife-friendly policy that prohibits running deals for venues that offer interactions with wild animals or captive wild animal performances, such as dolphin shows. With its millions of users, the removal of these exploitative venues permanently would positively impact thousands of animals. More and more travel companies are shifting to a better model. In 2021, World Animal Protection moved Expedia Group to end ticket sales to captive dolphin shows as well as prohibit venues that allow intentional physical contact with wild animals.
Join us in urging Groupon to stop profiting from wild animal suffering and adopt a wildlife-friendly policy. Send a message to Groupon executives.