MEDIA RELEASE: Luxury Californian Eco-Resort Caught Illegally Trapping and Killing Wild Animals

MEDIA RELEASE: Luxury Californian Eco-Resort Caught Illegally Trapping and Killing Wild Animals

RANCHO PALOS VERDES, CA (January 28, 2020) – In Defense of Animals has exposed a luxury eco-resort based in an affluent area of Los Angeles engaging in a monstrous and lethal wild animal trapping campaign. Terranea Resort and Spa, based in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, claims to be an "eco-resort" with "the utmost reverence for its native environment." A lawsuit filed recently by Alan Kang, Esq. alleges that the resort has mercilessly trapped and killed or illegally relocated raccoons, opossums, squirrels, and skunks. Kang contacted In Defense of Animals for support and expert wildlife recommendations to advise the resort about humane solutions. Supporters of In Defense of Animals have already sent over 70,000 emails encouraging Terranea's corporate partners to take action.

“We were shocked to see trapping records revealing Terranea Resort and Spa’s attack on local animals,” asserted Marilyn Kroplick, M.D., President of In Defense of Animals. “Companies that flout California’s laws and values by refusing to coexist with animals must be held accountable. We call on Terranea to truly honor the protected habitat and animals who live there by immediately ceasing all trapping operations and protecting wild animals in the future.”

In California, relocating trapped wild animals is illegal. Trappers are required by law to kill the unwanted animals they catch in box traps. Many are gassed to death in mobile gas chambers. Studies show that between 75-90 percent of relocated animals suffer when dumped in unfamiliar and confusing terrain. Confronted with established predators and other dangerous survival conditions, they often die. 

The suit filed in Los Angeles by Alan Kang, Esq. and supported by In Defense of Animals, alleges the Terranea Resort and Spa is responsible for the mass trapping and/or unlawful relocation of 70 raccoons, including babies, 25 opossums, several squirrels, and skunks over a three-year period. 

Terranea won several awards for its sustainable and environmental practices while hiding its cruel wild animal killings. In Defense of Animals is calling for Terranea to be stripped of awards from the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International presented in conjunction with National Geographic Traveler, and also from the SoCal Environmental Excellence Development (SEED), an organization established by the United Nations Environment Programme, the United Nations Development Programme, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature. 

“We hope that SEED and the HSMAI will prove that their awards are worth more than the paper they’re written on and strip Terranea of its environmental and sustainability prizes,” said Lisa Levinson, a Los Angeles resident and Wild Animals Campaigner for In Defense of Animals. ”Trapping and killing wild animals at a national monument and violating local, state, and federal government habitat protections is about as unsustainable and environmentally-hostile as you can get.”

Alan Kang, Esq. made several attempts to discuss this important issue with Terranea, but the Resort refuses to communicate regarding this issue. In Defense of Animals supporters reached out in their thousands to Terranea's corporate partners to call for their help to stop the lethal mass trapping of wild animals. So far, the corporate partners have failed to take public action, including Earicles Los Angeles, the American Academy of Anti-Aging, the California Orthopedic Association, Avasant Global Headquarters, the Vacation Rental Management Association, The Hip Society, CIO Symposium, and the American Bankruptcy Institute.

“Thousands of In Defense of Animals supporters have called on Terranea Resort and Spa and its corporate partners to commit to protecting wild animals,” said Levinson. “We demand that Terranea immediately adopt and publicize a comprehensive humane wildlife management scheme that employs only non-intrusive methods, such as exclusion, habitat modification, and hazing.”

In 2019, California passed the Wildlife Protection Act to prevent Terranea-style mass trapping from depleting local animal populations and preventing ecosystems from functioning properly, putting California at the forefront of anti-trapping laws. Terranea has trapped more raccoons in just three years than commercial fur-bearing trappers reported for 2016-2017 in the entire state of California.

Given the protections afforded to wild animals under California's Natural Communities Conservation Planning Act of 1991 and related California Coastal national monument protections, Terranea could be causing long-term ecological damage through its mass trapping campaign. 

Terranea’s developer Bob Lowe’s Coral Tree Hospitality division manages dozens of hotels, with four located in San Francisco, including the Hotel Carlton. Coral Tree Hospitality also manages Hotel Talisa in Vail, Hotel Lincoln in Chicago, Town and Country in San Diego, and is developing resort hotels in Charleston, Mission Valley, Oakland, Seattle, and Los Angeles. In Defense of Animals is concerned about the survival of wild animals residing on all Coral Tree properties.  

In Defense of Animals is calling for members of the public who have stayed at Terranea to share their contact information and dates of stay with Lisa Levinson at 215-620-2130 or [email protected].  

Learn more and voice your concerns about Terranea Resort and Spa's lethal mass trapping of wild animals on its property:


Contact: Lisa Levinson, [email protected], 215-620-2130

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