For Immediate Release:
April 13, 2016
David Perle 202-483-7382
Jack Hanna—the notorious animal wrangler who appears on daytime and late-night talk shows as an apologist for wild-animal captivity, including that of orcas at SeaWorld—has been linked to animal abuse again. PETA has just obtained a newly released U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspection report that documents numerous violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act at The Wilds—a zoo that advertises “Jack Hanna tested and approved animal experiences,” features Hanna in promotional photos, and lists him as a board member and “global ambassador.”
Violations at The Wilds include failing to provide numerous animals, such as three giraffes who died, with adequate veterinary care as well as failing to have a sufficient number of adequately trained employees to maintain even minimum animal-care standards. The facility has also repeatedly placed incompatible animals together, which has caused some to be gored to death.
“Jack Hanna is a showman who carts sensitive animals around as living props and defends enterprises where they suffer—even those with a history of breaking the law,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA is calling on TV producers to reconsider booking Hanna, and we’re urging everyone who cares about animals to stay away from any business that exploits them.”
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—notes that this is far from the first time that Hanna has been linked to an abusive facility: He has obtained baby animals to exhibit on Good Morning America from Stump Hill Farm—which keeps a highly social chimpanzee named Tootie in solitary confinement, has a record of breeding tiger cubs for a high school to use as “mascots,” and has prematurely removed infant animals from their mothers for commercial purposes like Hanna’s. His record also includes incidents in which his “pet” lion bit off the arm of a 3-year-old child, a fox he displayed on television bit and severely injured the host’s finger, and a baby cougar he took to a conference bit a politician on the chin.