PETA Calls for Investigation of Animal Planet Show for Violating Wildlife Laws in Boyle County

Danville, Junction City Ties Found to Animal Abuse on Call of the Wildman

For Immediate Release:
April 1, 2014

David Perle 202-483-7382

Boyle County, Ky.

According to a recent investigation by Mother Jones and additional research by PETA, in order to film a staged scene for the Animal Planet “reality” series Call of the Wildman, a “mother” raccoon—later identified as a male—and three emaciated baby raccoons were captured in Junction City in apparent violation of the law. One of the babies died. For another segment, six copperhead snakes were released into a Danville swimming pool to be recaptured for the show, in apparent violation of Kentucky law. Now, PETA has submitted formal complaints to the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources (KDFWR) and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) asking for immediate investigations into possible violations of state and federal laws.

“No animal should be harassed and potentially injured or killed for the sake of a TV show,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders. “By keeping this show on the air, the network might as well rebrand itself as ‘Cruelty-to-Animals Planet.’”

According to a new Mother Jones investigation, a coyote was captured in Bowling Green approximately 84 hours prior to filming and confined to a tiny cage in which the animal could barely move. The coyote was reportedly “weak and limping” and “sluggish and unresponsive” yet was transported to the filming location in Waddy before being replaced by a coyote imported from Ohio. This coyote was clearly distressed throughout the scene, in which the show’s star, Ernie Brown Jr., dragged—and even repeatedly lifted—the animal by the tail. And although Brown received an official warning from the KDFWR for using potentially deadly methods to catch bats in violation of his permit, he later used the same methods to capture bats in Houston.

Call of the Wildman is already under investigation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Texas officials, and the city of Houston. PETA and nearly 67,000 of its members and supporters have called for the show’s cancellation—but Animal Planet has steadfastly refused to nix it.

PETA’s letters to the KDFWR and the FWS are available upon request. For more information, please visit

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