NAPLES, Fla.- People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has posted an "action alert" on its website in an effort to urge Naples City Council to reverse its decision to allow an alligator exhibit in Tin City, according to our partners at the Naples Daily News.
Naples City Council narrowly approved a conditional use permit earlier this month for "Gator Man Mike" Sturgill to provide tourists the opportunity to pay to be photographed holding and hugging captive alligators at his store to be located in Tin City. Under considerable debate was whether the alligator exhibit would be considered a "cultural use."
"Please urge Naples city officials to call for a re-vote and ask them to deny Sturgill's permit," PETA officials say in their online statement. "Remind them that cruelty is not 'culture' and should not be tolerated."
The vote can be overturned, but the council must call for a re-vote no later than Monday, according to the action alert.
"Alligators are naturally solitary and territorial, avoiding contact with any being. As if keeping them captive weren't cruel enough, alligators used for photo ops are driven around, then muzzled and manhandled, all of which causes them extreme torment and stress," PETA officials said in the statement. "Indoor, air-conditioned environments rife with strange sights and sounds make things all the worse for these cold-blooded, wild beings."
Sturgill could not immediately be reached for comment.