Everybody knows Porsches go really, really fast. But we were still surprised at how fast Porsche responded when PETA and Big Cat Rescue contacted the company’s U.S. headquarters about plans by dealerships around the country to exhibit tiger cubs at their unveilings of the new Porsche Macan crossover. (“Macan” is the Malay word for “tiger.”)
We told Porsche executives that tiger cubs used at such events are typically 8 to 12 weeks old—and the cubs displayed at a Tampa, Florida, Porsche dealership earlier this month were likely only 3 weeks old (in nature, they stay with their mothers for up to two years). The cubs are often schlepped around to shopping malls and fairs for photo ops. Because of stress and neglect, they often become sick and malnourished, and they are often denied adequate veterinary care. When they grow too large to be handled, they are relegated to cramped barren cages or are disposed of.
We also pointed out that the dealerships could potentially be held liable if someone were scratched or bitten. A bear cub recently used in a “stress-relieving” petting zoo at Washington University in St. Louis bit at least 18 people.
Within one business day, we heard back from Porsche’s vice president for marketing, who assured us that Porsche shares our concerns when it comes to the ethical treatment of “any animal, large or small, wild or domesticated.” He said that when the company became aware that some dealers might have planned events with live animals, officials sent out a “forceful communication urging all dealers to refrain from doing so.” He also said, “Over the next few days, our field force across the country will personally make contact with every Porsche dealer to reinforce our appeal that no animals whatsoever be used in any dealer activity.”
Now that’s what we call putting the pedal to the mettle.