A 16-year-old Baton Rouge girl has rallied more than 135,000 supporters to sign her online petition calling for another federal investigation and possible closure of the Baton Rouge Zoo.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture opened an investigation earlier this year following the death of 2-year-old tiger Hadiah. In May, the animal’s death was attributed to gastric dilation, an unpreventable condition similar to bloat in large dogs.

Weeks later, a pack of dogs broke into a primate exhibit and killed two monkeys. A third was grievously wounded and had to be euthanized.

“Questions have been raised by hundreds of citizens about the competency of the animals’ caregivers and the adequacy of the zoo officials, who are supposed to be monitoring and regulating the care of the creatures in the zoo and maintaining the physical structures,” states the petition posted by Kerregan Layne to thepetitionsite.com.

She also called attention to the deaths of two giraffes earlier this year. One of the animals was euthanized for a chronic illness, and the other was knocked down by another giraffe when the two were housed in a barn stall together during spate of bad weather.

“We are asking that the USDA (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service) take action immediately to oversee this zoo and figure out why so many animals are losing their lives, and seriously consider shutting it down if solutions cannot be identified,” Layne wrote.

As of Friday afternoon, more than 135,000 people signed the petition, some from Baton Rouge, others from around the country and world. Layne has set a goal of 140,000 signatures.

Mayor pro tem doubles as amateur oncologist

When an East Baton Rouge metro councilman showed up to the latest council meeting with a bandage on his head, he explained he was on the mend from having skin cancer removed and thanked one of his political colleagues for helping make the diagnosis.

Buddy Amoroso paused the Wednesday meeting to acknowledge the treatment to his scalp. He said he went to the doctor at the urging of Mayor Pro Tem Chandler Loupe. Amoroso gave his colleague heartfelt thanks, though in the moment mistakenly called him Trae, the name of Zachary-area councilman Trae Welch. The mistaken identity cut through the levity and Loupe threw his hands up but accepted Amoroso’s gratitude.

Advocate staff writer Steve Hardy contributed to this report. Follow Hardy on Twitter, @SteveRHardy.