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

Casey County Tie Found to Animal Abuse on Call of the Wildman

For Immediate Release:
April 1, 2014

David Perle 202-483-7382

Casey County, Ky.

In order to film a segment of the Animal Planet series Call of the Wildman, a porcupine was released under a mill, recaught, dragged by the tail, and thrown into a trash can. The abusive incident, which apparently violated both Kentucky and U.S. wildlife-protection laws, occurred in Casey County. Now, PETA has sent complaints to the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources (KDFWR) and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) asking for immediate investigations.

“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.’”

Also, according to a new Mother Jones investigation, a coyote was captured at the request of Call of the Wildman 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. The show then obtained a second coyote—apparently from a dealer in Ohio—and imported the animal into Kentucky. This coyote was used for the show and is clearly distressed throughout the scene, in which the show’s star, Ernie Brown Jr., drags and even lifts the animal by the tail. These activities appear to have violated multiple wildlife-protection laws.

The KDFWR has already warned Brown that his methods of catching bats were potentially lethal to the animals and therefore violated the terms of his permit. The warning came after Brown grabbed a bat out of the air inside a home, shined a bright light in the nocturnal animal’s eyes, and pulled the bat’s wings open as the animal struggled.

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.

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