PETA Calls for Investigation of Animal Planet Show for Violating Wildlife Laws

Shelby County Connection Found to Animal Abuse on Call of the Wildman

For Immediate Release:
March 27, 2014

David Perle 202-483-7382

Waddy, Ky.

To film a segment of the Animal Planet series Call of the Wildman, an ailing coyote was trapped, confined to a tiny cage, and transported to the filming location in Waddy, and a replacement coyote was apparently imported from Ohio—without the required permit—and tormented on screen. Now, PETA has sent a formal complaint to the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources (KDFWR) asking for an immediate investigation into possible violations of state 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 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 before being replaced by the coyote likely imported from Ohio. This coyote was clearly distressed throughout the scene, in which the show’s star, Ernie Brown Jr., drags—and even repeatedly lifts the animal—by the tail. These activities appear to have violated multiple animal-protection laws. In Casey County, for a different episode, a porcupine was released under a mill, recaught, dragged by the tail, and thrown into a trash can. The KDFWR has also warned Brown that his abusive methods of catching bats were potentially lethal and, therefore, violated the terms of his permit.

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 65,000 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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