Victory! Event Company Peels Away From the Monkey-Exploiting ‘Banana Derby’

Published by .
3 min read

The Banana Derby—a traveling act that hauls sensitive capuchin monkeys and dogs to fairs across the country and exploits them for absurd, degrading stunts—is a barrel full of suffering. That’s why, after PETA contacted KevaWorks—which hosted the June 2024 Avon Summer Festival in Ohio, where the Banana Derby exhibited—and informed it of the serious animal welfare issues involved, the company listened.

monkey and dog in race at Banana Derby race

Now, the notorious monkey-mistreating spectacle is down another option for its inherently cruel sideshow and KevaWorks is joining the hundreds of venues, dozens of communities, and several states that prohibit or restrict exotic-animal acts.

What’s Wrong With the Banana Derby?

In the Banana Derby, humans strap capuchin monkeys to dogs and force them to race at high speeds. The monkeys have been filmed being violently jerked in all directions, putting them at risk of serious injuries. The exhibit also uses them for cruel photo ops with tourists, which is dangerous to both the monkeys and humans. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has cited the exhibitor, Philip Hendricks, for failing to provide animals with adequate space, environmental enrichment, and clean, wholesome food.

Monkeys and dogs don’t exist for humans’ amusement. Capuchin monkeys are curious, intelligent, highly social animals who live in large groups and have intricate communication systems in nature. In the jungles and forests where they belong, they raise families and swing through lush tree canopies.

capuchin monkeys sitting on a tree branch

Traveling exhibits like the Banana Derby, which truck animals around the country, force them to perform, and use them as props for photo ops, likely cause capuchins extreme distress. According to primatologists and veterinarians, monkeys used in these stunts exhibit signs of fear and anxiety and show a blank facial expression of resignation, indicating a condition referred to as “learned helplessness.”

The Banana Derby is also no place for dogs, who would much rather spend their time in a safe, loving home, where they could receive the compassion, care, and enrichment they deserve.

KevaWorks Joins the Barrel of Monkey Defenders

Promoting an inherently abusive, dangerous spectacle is beyond bananas. After hearing from PETA, KevaWorks agreed not to book the Banana Derby at future events. To thank the company for its compassionate pledge, we’re sending it some vegan banana bread.

Help PETA End the Banana Derby

While KevaWorks’ kind decision is a major victory, the monkeys used by the Banana Derby still need your assistance. Help us urge Hendricks to end the event and retire the monkeys to reputable sanctuaries:

Stay up to date on the latest vegan trends and get breaking animal rights news delivered straight to your inbox!

By submitting this form, you’re acknowledging that you have read and agree to our privacy policy and agree to receive e-mails from us.

Get the Latest Tips—Right in Your Inbox
We’ll e-mail you weekly with the latest in vegan recipes, fashion, and more!

By submitting this form, you’re acknowledging that you have read and agree to our privacy policy and agree to receive e-mails from us.