ZooWorld officials are catching some heat for their plans to buy at least one new giraffe.
The Panama City Beach attraction is trying to replace Sydney the giraffe, who died this summer.
"We felt the need to really jump on this opportunity because we don't know when it will happen again," said Marie Knafelc with ZooWorld.
But some residents, like Romney Speerschneider and her family, do not think the giraffes belong at the local attraction.
"We went to ZooWorld and were really kind of horrified by how small the enclosures were,” said Speerschneider. “We'd never seen a zoo that small before. The animals were pacing and my children were really upset by it."
ZooWorld management said the giraffe enclosures are three times the USDA and florida fish and wildlife requirements.
and they are also looking into ways to expand even more.
"We have room within the park itself that we can actually make exhibits a little bigger," said Knafelc.
But Speerschneider is now circulating a petition against ZooWorld's plans.
"I just felt that we could do better as a community to make the zoo better,” said Speerschneider. “It represents Panama City and I just figured there had to be people out there that felt the same way.”
Speerschneider claims she has close to 1,900 signatures, and is averaging about 50 a day.
Regardless, park officials say they will continue to expand and improve their facilities to benefit both the animals and visitors.
ZooWorld is trying to raise about $50,000 to buy the two new giraffes.