ROANOKE,Va. -

A Roanoke group says they don't want to see animals caged up in the zoo, calling it cruel.

The group, Roanoke Animal Advocates held signs in protest as zoo goers made their way to see the animals.

“I don't feel like as a species, we have the right to imprison our fellow creatures,” said Andy Clingempeel.

Though few in numbers, the animal advocacy group wanted to make their message clear. They say putting animals in a zoo is like putting them in prison.

“I would like for the zoo to get shut down. And we have people that are researching appropriate animal sanctuaries to relocate all of the animals,” said Clingempeel.

“These zoos clam to provide conservation education but their primary goal is sustain public support,” said Fawn Franklin.

The group says they don't just take issue with Mill Mountain Zoo but with all zoos. One of the advocates say they have not reach out to the zoo for a sit down discussion, And says this is their way of communicating their message.

“I want people to take home that this zoo and all other zoos in the world need to be shut down and animals be relocated to appreciate sanctuaries,” said Clingempeel.

“I don't think so, I really don't,” said Zoo Executive Director Ray-Eric Correia.

Zoo management says the facility serves as a learning environment for kids.

“I would say that the animals are incredibly well care for they are supervised 24/7. They are literally watched over," said Correia.

The group is hoping to raise enough money that would pay for the removal of the animals to sanctuaries.