Now, even Swae Lee and Mally Mall are learning that exotic animals aren’t Instagram props or “pets.” Officials from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife seized a spider monkey from Lee’s home following a PETA complaint. And in another victory for animals, the department also seized an African serval cat from Mall’s home during an investigation into wildlife trafficking that appears to be connected to the Lee case. (Mall is reportedly being investigated for human trafficking as well.)
The state of California prohibits the possession of these animals as “pets.” PETA hopes they’ll now be placed in accredited facilities that are capable of caring for these fragile species, who have unique needs.
Lee, a rapper, and Mall, a hip-hop producer, frequently work together—and both are also known for posting pictures of themselves on social media posing with exotic animals, driving with the animals in their cars, and dressing them up in human clothing and diapers.
PETA applauds California authorities for diligently following up on our complaint and working to protect these animals. Exotic animals kept as “pets” are often bred in captivity by criminal dealers, torn away from their mothers as babies, sold to anyone with a big enough bank account, denied any chance at a natural life, and forced to do whatever their “owner” chooses for a few social media “likes.”
We encourage anyone who sees exotic animals being used in this way on social media to forward the evidence to authorities and to PETA, as many animal advocates did in these two cases.