Utah sisters collect thousands of signatures on petition to relocate animals kept at Lagoon

Posted at 9:40 PM, Aug 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-07 23:40:54-04

FARMINGTON, Utah -- You've seen the protests on the streets, and now two teens are joining the fight.  Grace Barkdull, 13, and her 16-year-old sister, Kenna, started a petition online to free the wild animals at lagoon.

"Lagoon isn't a bad place," Grace said. "There's no reason for animals to live there."

Kenna said she thinks it's an environment that's not very well suited to caring for animals.

"I just don't think that wild animals should be the middle of a really busy, loud amusement park," she said.

Within two days, they had 6,000 signatures. Now it’s up to almost 160,000.

"I thought we were going to get a thousand at the most, by the very end of it," Kenna said.

The girls think the message is resonating because of all the people out there who care about the animals like they do.

"You can just see in their eyes, especially for the big cats," Grace said. "Their cages are wire, metal, and concrete, and they have nothing soft to lie on."

They also believe Lagoon will benefit in the long run.

"The few people who have said they don't want to go to the park will start coming back to the park, and I think also if you took the animals out I think it opens up space," Kenna said.

The sisters say there are plenty of places for them to go.

"There are lots of animal welfare shelters and sanctuaries across the state, and I'm pretty sure a lot of them want to take the animals," Grace said.

The Barkdull girls want to see these wild animals roam freely, in an environment similar to the natural habitat they came from.

The sisters created the petition on Click here for details or to sign.

FOX 13 News has reached out to Lagoon for comment on the petition, but so far has not yet received a response.