Carmike Cinemas Called On to Ban Use of Wild Animals—for Kindness' and Safety's Sake
For Immediate Release:
July 24, 2014
David Perle 202-483-7382
Myrtle Beach, S.C. – On the heels of a publicity stunt by notorious animal exhibitor Bhagavan “Doc” Antle—who reportedly took two chimpanzees to a Myrtle Beach premiere of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes—PETA is asking its members and supporters to contact Carmike Cinemas, which hosted the opening night, to get in line with other venues and agencies and immediately adopt a policy prohibiting wild animals at all its theaters.
As PETA—whose motto includes “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—pointed out in a letter to the company, Antle has a long history of violating the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA) and endangering the public. In addition, captive primates—who are often torn away from their loving mothers shortly after birth and beaten into submission—have been known to lash out, leaving humans horrifically injured and, often, the animals killed.
“It’s cruel and dangerous to use chimpanzees for publicity stunts such as this—and it flies directly in the face of the message of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and the beliefs of its director, who uses computer-generated imagery rather than real apes in his films,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders. “PETA is calling on Carmike Cinemas not to contribute to cruelty to animals and to pledge never to host exploitative wildlife acts again.”
PETA is also calling on the U.S. Department of Agriculture and local Myrtle Beach authorities to investigate whether Antle’s stunt violated the AWA and local law.