Legal Complaints Filed Over Captive Bear at Dan Bilzerian’s 4/20 Party

PETA Alerts State and Local Authorities to Dangerous Contact With Kodiak Bear Provided by Steve Martin's Working Wildlife

For Immediate Release:
April 24, 2019

Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Los Angeles – After Instagram posts from Dan Bilzerian’s 4/20 party showed the troubled socialite and his guests in direct contact with and in close proximity to a Kodiak bear supplied by Steve Martin’s Working Wildlife, PETA sent complaints this morning urging local and state authorities to take action.

In a letter to the Los Angeles Department of Animal Services, PETA notes that Bilzerian and Martin didn’t have the required permit for this display. They couldn’t have had one, because city regulations expressly prohibit keeping bears in the residential zone where the party took place. And in a letter to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, PETA points out that because Martin failed to contain the bear in an escape-proof enclosure or to ensure that a safe distance was maintained between the animal and the public, he’s subject to permit revocation and a fine of up to $10,000 per violation.

“Bears belong in the wild, not in captivity, pimped out as props by shameless pseudo-celebrities like Bilzerian for Instagram ‘likes,'” says PETA Senior Vice President Lisa Lange. “PETA is calling on authorities to throw the book at scofflaw animal exhibitor Steve Martin and the man who hired him for this dangerous stunt.”

This isn’t the first time Bilzerian has forced a wild animal to entertain his party guests. In 2015, he was photographed pulling a giraffe by a leash at one of his Hollywood bashes, and, in fact, it was his heartless exploitation of this animal that motivated Los Angeles City Council Member David Ryu to propose a ban on the use of exotic animals for entertainment.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, which is the human-supremacist worldview that other animals are nothing more than commodities to be used, for example, as party props.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind