Live rabbits at American Dream mall? 1,050 people plead ‘no’
One design element at the long-awaited American Dream retail and entertainment center in the Meadowlands has raised concern among animal lovers.
By Monday, more than 1,050 supporters had signed an online petition urging the mega-mall developers not to "use live animals as Instagram props."
The 3 million square foot, high-end retail and entertainment complex will include "six grand atriums flooded with natural light." according to a written description from the developer made public in May.
"In one, guests will discover a sprawling garden with bird filled aviaries and bunny rabbit fields," it says.
In response to an email from New Jersey 101.5, American Dreams Public Relations Director Dana McHugh said "We will be sharing more information as we approach opening. We work with specialists in this field on all of our projects to ensure that we uphold the highest standards for the care and well-being of all animals."
McHugh did not say how many rabbits might be involved in such a living display area.
A Sea Life Aquarium also was among attractions planned for the mega retail and entertainment destination.
The Change.org petition founder, Aly Huelster, said in a July first update that a few weeks earlier, she sent a second letter to the staff at American Dream Mall asking for more details about the proposed rabbit fields and received "absolutely zero response."
Huelster said her effort has gained support from "8 small animal rescues from New Jersey," she said on the Change.org page. New Jersey 101.5 has not yet been able to reach her directly.
American Dream now is slated for an Oct. 25 opening date, with more than 450 luxury retail shops and dining locations and entertainment attractions that include North America’s first indoor ski park and the continent's largest indoor waterpark.
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