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‘Stick Him in a Tube’

Written by PETA | March 14, 2011

Mike Tyson would have viewers of his new show, Taking On Tyson, believe that pigeon racers don’t think of the birds as “inventory.” But a long-time wildlife rehabilitator who has seen the victims firsthand begs to differ.

In an e-mail to PETA, she told us about rehabilitating a thin and injured pigeon who, judging from his wounds, appeared to have barely escaped a hawk. Because the bird was wearing a band, she was able to track down the bird’s owner, who told her to put the bird in a tube and ship him back. Of course, she refused to do so. Another racer she contacted about a banded bird told her to just “wring its neck” and that the birds are “a dime a dozen.”

PETA recently demonstrated outside Tyson’s Las Vegas home to let people know that pigeons do suffer when forced to fly hundreds of miles in all weather extremes.

Many don’t make it home. The American Racing Pigeon Union disclosed that at a 2010 race in Oklahoma City, more than 800 pigeons—60 percent of the total number entered—did not return from training flights or the race itself. 

aunt owwee/cc by 2.0

Please tell Animal Planet  that animals should not have to pay with their lives for someone’s hobby.

Written by Jennifer O’Connor

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  • kathy says:

    What’s going on with Animal Planet? Did they get new executives that don’t care about animals?

  • Jude says:

    Why is Mike Tyson being singled out by Peta? As I recall, Steve O is also a vegan but not one peep was uttered about his exploits with animals from Jackass movies. Is it because he wears your tee shirts?

  • Rex's Mom says:

    I like most of the shows on Animal Planet but I will not watch Mike Tyson. I read a while back that he used to own a couple of tigers and said that he would punch them in the face and it was like hitting concrete. I just hope those tigers were taken away from him and I dont trust him with any animal, including pigeons.

  • Stef says:

    A lot of pple don’t care about pigeons,I remember when I had a hurt one living in my bathroom till it could fly again every1 thought I was nuts(itz a pigeon,they carry diseases blah blah) I named him Godfeather&he did end up being able to fly again…..it’s a shame though how some people treat animals

  • Hova4 says:

    It’s absolutely horrific, how could someone say ‘Wring its neck’ so carelessly about a living, injured animal?

  • Gilbert says:

    Humble request. Kindly end it.

  • Evelyn says:

    I really think that MIKE T. is very ignorant to the FACTS! he saids he loves his brids but cant think right about them? Hes another idiot in my book.

  • Pigeon Fancier says:

    The Put the bird in a tube statement and culling the birds that do not win is something in my opinion that would be very rare. It is just not the norm. Most folks that raise homing pigeons give them excellent care. They have birds in their lofts that are old. Many families join in the hobby of racing pigeons. Children learn to love and respect animals. They are not on video games or out doing crimes. Pigeons are going to fly regardless of if they are in a race. All birds are subjected to hawks. It is just nature. Valuable time is being wasted by PETA regarding homing pigeons. There are so many abused and neglected animals. Homing pigeons are loved by their owners. There are pigeons being abused by hunting clubs who shoot them. Those are the real pigeons that need to be protected. Please google homing pigeons and you will find that Mike Tyson and his crew are doing a fantastic job of caring for their birds. Please be knowledgeable folks.

  • LonerssayRawr says:

    I feel terrible now. Although I was not a part of it, I live in Oklahoma City. Just another reason to move to Britain as soon as possible.

  • sheila rawden says:

    Animals should NOT have to pay with their lives just for peoples hobbies..Birds as all animals are loyal,why torture them?

  • Pia Wass says:

    Leave the pigeons alone, please!

  • Sue says:

    My uess is that they (the peoplewho race) could be a huge part of why pigeons are so plentiful in NY and other cities.a lot of people hate them and poison them…kind of like stray dogs..just stray pigeons..disposable pets..which I noticed was not the way this show discribes the birds..basically a commodity and def. disposable..:( Now PETA,- what about the baby male chicks being ground alive by the 10s of 1000s daily..isn’t that more important and much much crueler!!Seriously now….

  • Lee says:

    Do we not already know what Tyson is? Who gave this idiot a show????

  • Jana says:

    Animals should not have to pay with their lives for someone’s hobby. Please take Mike Tysons show off the air.

  • Toni Pakay says:

    This coming from man who bites peoples ears off. I would veiw his show as something not to be taken seriously if I were to watch it at all.

  • Gabby Blade says:

    Animals should not have to pay with their lives for someone’s hobby!!!

  • Solun says:

    It is really sad that they make this cruel “sport” public. If something is legal, it does not mean it is fun and acceptable.

  • Maria Cabrera says:

    Animals deserve to be respected as we humans, they have the same right to live and reproduce, enjoying earth. Programs like this one, should be canceled, because they risk the natural environment of the pigeon, just for a hobby of a man who can’t control himself.Airing this king of show is like saying animals are inferior, we humans can treat them any way we want to.

  • Sondra Blasius says:

    Just another example of homo sapiens using another species for money and cheap fame with no regard for the life of the other species.

  • Amy DeVito says:

    Animal Planet! You should be ashamed to air such a show. Your channel has been monumental with making people aware of the suffering animals endure with programs like “Animal Cops”. What are you thinking with this? The only positive effect this has had is that people will realize the suffering these birds endure in such a life.

  • SimplySteph says:

    Animal Planet, I am disgusted!!! Throw the ratings out the window, and save these birds!

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