For Immediate Release:
November 3, 2016
David Perle 202-483-7382
Notorious roadside zoo Dade City’s Wild Things (DCWT) has posted a video response to PETA’s eyewitness exposé documenting abuse and neglect of tiger cubs and other animals at the facility. DCWT’s video shows a tiger cub named Luna being yelled at, hit in the face, and thrown into a pool—and it ends with a question: “Does this look like abuse to you?” The answer is a resounding yes—it does.
PETA points out that tiger cubs used at tourist traps are torn away from their mothers and exploited as photo props. Luna belongs with her family. She shouldn’t be jerked around on a leash and forced to do confusing tricks in front of a camera—and the few moments of enjoyment that the trainer shares with Luna at the beginning of the video don’t excuse beating the cub and pushing her into the pool.
“If an abusive nanny is caught smacking children in the face, is everything OK just because she fed and bathed them beforehand?” asks PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet. “PETA is calling on Dade City’s Wild Things to stop investing in vengeful marketing ploys and instead focus on retiring these long-suffering animals to reputable sanctuaries.”
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—has filed a lawsuit alleging that DCWT is in violation of the Endangered Species Act, which prohibits harming or harassing protected animals. In addition, on Saturday, it was reported that prompted by PETA’s eyewitness exposé, the Pasco County Sheriff’s Department is investigating DCWT for potential cruelty to animals.