Actress and comedian Whitney Cummings on Monday called out Malibu Wines, accusing the winery of not evacuating the animals from its property during the California wildfires currently plaguing the area.
The “2 Broke Girls” co-creator took to Instagram over the weekend and shared multiple photos and video of Stanley the Giraffe — a popular fixture of Malibu Wine Safaris — still on the property, after she said that she was informed he and the other animals were safe.
By late Monday, Cummings wrote that “an outside vet is with Stanley and she says he is ok. I don’t know about the rest or if they should still move out.”
On Monday morning, Cummings informed her followers that she was in “communication” with the winery’s owners and asking that news crews stay away from the area.
Her previous posts indicated she had gone to check on Stanley herself, and she believed she was misled by the winery about his status when she found him still on the property.
“I went rogue and went to check on Stanley the giraffe myself,” she wrote Sunday, alongside a photo of her with Stanley. “There were a lot of rumors and i didn’t want to be contributing to untrue gossip. I don’t know enough about exotic animals to know if them choosing not to move him was the right choice, but for now he is safe although the conditions are terrible air quality and windy.”
She added in another post: “I know moving a giraffe is incredibly dangerous but not having an evacuation plan at all isn’t acceptable. Yes they keep saying they ‘evacuated’ but that means into a pasture that’s still Smokey and burning on their premises just FYI.”
Earlier Monday, Malibu Wine Safaris posted footage of the animals themselves, including Stanley:
According to a Change.org petition started by Christy Lee, vice president of Protect Animals Worldwide: “Malibu Safari was in the evacuation zone of the areas effected by the Woolsey Fires in California. Malibu Safari is responsible for the lives of close to 100 animals. Including Sanley [sic] the Giraffe, a zebra, water buffalo, horses, etc. When advised to evacuate their property, they chose not to evacuate the animals. When rescue groups went out to offer help, they refused the help. When rescue groups went out to check on the animals, most of the property had been destroyed by the fires. Images were taken of the fires still burning right next to the animals. It has been confirmed that there are animals unaccounted for. Animals who most likely parished [sic] due to their negligence. It was confirmed on Sunday. November, 11th, that the property was still burning and the animals are still at risk.”
The petition asks that the animals be moved immediately to a safer location and that an “investigation be put into action as to whether Malibu Safari should be allowed to keep these animals or any animal In [sic] their care.”
“They do not have the animals In their best interest,” the petition states. “The animals deserve to live in a safe haven where the people responsible for them will ensure their safety at ALL TIMES.”
Multiple attempts to reach the Malibu Wines for comment were unsuccessful.
See Cummings’ posts below.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this story.
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@malibusafaris if you have people on your staff you’d like me to talk to with more information about evacuation efforts, I’m down to hear it. I’m happy to be wrong. I’m just relaying what I was told and what I saw. I have photos of everything i saw and I’m not going to post or release the rest until I have all the information and have spoken to everyone directly so I’m not jumping to conclusions. I know y’all are dealing with a lot of loss and i have compassion for that, so just prove to us that you did the right thing for your 80 or so animals or at least that you tried and we can come to peace on this. Let vets in today to tell us everyone is okay and we can go from there.
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I went rogue and went to check on Stanley the giraffe myself. There were a lot of rumors and i didn’t want to be contributing to untrue gossip. I don’t know enough about exotic animals to know if them choosing not to move him was the right choice, but for now he is safe although the conditions are terrible air quality and windy. They are trying to build a barn for him for the night because it burned down. The best thing you can do to help is have as much hay delivered as you can to Malibu Wines/Saddle Rock Ranch or bring some if you live in the area. They lost all their structures, but all the animals are alive right now. I was frustrated that they didn’t evacuate all the animals days ago, but again it’s easy for me to say given i wasn’t there and the fires came in fast. Everyone I spoke to was kind and doing the best they could. I’m sorry I was so aggressive with you guys both in person and on social media. I will give you the benefit of the doubt that you did what was best for your animals and humans but in the future I’m offering my services to help with a better evacuation plan and any resources you currently need. Let’s all just stick together right now and deal with everything else later.
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If @malibusafaris can just send us proof from vets, not news reporters that Stanley is okay and that the other animals are too, all good. Animals don’t have cars or e-mail. This place also had other people horses there who paid to board them there. I guess I’m just trying to do what I would hope other people would do for my animals or children if this happened. If they’re fine now, great. Do the right thing and build a cement enclosure for Stanley that can’t burn down, and get a real evacuation plan in place in case this happens again. I truly can’t and shouldn’t spend any more time on this so now the experts can do the rest because this is above my pay grade. Thanks to everyone for the kind words and even the not so kind ones. I always want to be fair and just and would never want to make a bad situation worse.