PETA Calls for Investigation of Lebanon Man for Violating Wildlife Laws

Call of the Wildman Star Exposed for Tormenting Animals in Staged Scenes

For Immediate Release:
April 1, 2014

David Perle 202-483-7382

Lebanon, Ky. – Coyotes, raccoons, and other animals are routinely poked with sticks, dragged and lifted by the tail, and otherwise abused during filming of the staged scenes on the Animal Planet “reality” series Call of the Wildman. Much of that mistreatment is at the hands of the show’s star, Lebanon resident Ernie Brown Jr. That’s why PETA has submitted a complaint to the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources (KDFWR)  and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) asking for 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.'”

Brown received an official warning from the KDFWR for using potentially deadly methods to catch bats after he grabbed a bat out of the air inside a Green County home, then shined a bright flashlight in the nocturnal animal’s eyes before spreading the bat’s wings, causing the animal to bare his or her teeth and struggle in distress. Brown went on to use the same capture methods on bats in Houston. The show is now under investigation by that city, the state of Texas, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

According to a new Mother Jones investigation, a coyote was captured for the show in Bowling Green approximately 84 hours prior to filming and confined to a 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 before being replaced by another coyote, who was clearly distressed during filming as Brown dragged—and even repeatedly lifted—the animal by the tail.

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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 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