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Animal rights group asks Noem to rethink Rushmore fireworks

May 10, 2019

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — An animal rights group is asking South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem to reconsider her decision to blow off fireworks at Mount Rushmore for the Fourth of July celebration in 2020.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said Friday that its president sent a letter to Noem suggesting she consider replacing the fireworks with a drone show. The letter from Ingrid Newkirk said fireworks can scare animals and start wildfires, among other hazards.

Newkirk said drone shows are safer and don’t cause pollution.

Noem spokesman Joshua Shields called PETA’s suggestion “puzzling” and said forest animals might not react well to “hundreds of drones buzzing and blinking” around the monument at night.

The fireworks show was discontinued a decade ago due to forest fire concerns caused by a pine beat infestation. Shields said the latest fireworks technology is safe.

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