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Audubon Florida Urges Governor Scott to Veto Rhinoceros of a Bill

Non-native wildlife has no place on state conservation lands

Audubon Florida is urging Governor Rick Scott to veto HB 1117 – Conservation of Wildlife, passed during the 2012 Florida Legislative Session.

This legislation allows private zoos and aquaria to lease state conservation lands in order to construct and operate breeding facilities for exotic wildlife, including large hooved animals like zebras and rhinoceroses and aviaries for exotic birds.

“Florida’s conservation lands were acquired with public dollars to protect native imperiled wildlife; this bill’s proposed use could supplant threatened and iconic Florida species with exotic,” said Julie Wraithmell, Audubon Florida’s Director of Wildlife Conservation, adding, “The opportunity for zoos to lease state lands, likely for less than a private land owner would negotiate, is an example of government competing with and undercutting the private sector.”

For a copy of Audubon Florida’s letter to Governor Rick Scott, please visit

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