The words “poetic justice” spring to mind. If you missed the story, America’s most notorious animal trainer, Jack Hanna, got stuck in an airport turnstile yesterday when he was trying to transport a flamingo in a crate like she was carry-on luggage. Hanna also had a leopard and a mongoose in tow, so the terrified animals had to sit there for God knows how long while firefighters worked to free the flamingo’s crate from the turnstile. Or as he put it:
“I was stuck like a worm. My eyes were as big as grapefruits. I can’t describe the feeling in my stomach. I can’t move up or down. The bars are on your face.”
Boy, it must be really unpleasant to be stuck like that, Jack. I know it’s hard, but see if you can grind those mental gears just a little bit more and think about whether there might be something wrong with the fact that your entire career is based on putting animals through exactly the same kind of nightmare.
I know—those khaki pants and that corny sense of humor make Jack Hanna oh-so-likeable, but the bottom line is that he has a simply lousy track record when it comes to animals. It’s abundantly clear from incidents like this one that the animals themselves aren’t Hanna’s first priority, since he clearly feels comfortable lugging them around in crates to be brought out and paraded around for people’s amusement, and it shouldn’t take a wildlife expert to figure out that this experience can be immensely stressful for the animals involved. You can click here for some more info about the tawdry exotic-pet trade, which Hanna helps to glamorize by pimping leopards and big snakes on TV.
For future reference, Jack, exotic animals don’t belong in crates any more than they belong in a TV studio, no matter how much they pay you. Here’s hoping that next time you end up behind bars, it’s for good.