PETA Calls On U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to Investigate ‘Call of the Wildman’

After Drugged Zebra From Franklin Drive Thru Safari Was Chased and Wrestled to the Ground, Group Asks Authorities to Take Action

For Immediate Release:
February 20, 2014

David Perle 202-483-7382

Franklin, Texas – In response to the recent Mother Jones exposé that revealed that a drugged Grévy’s zebra—an animal listed as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act (ESA)—was chased and wrestled to the ground on camera for the Animal Planet series Call of the Wildman by the series’ star Ernie Brown Jr., PETA has sent a letter to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) urging the agency to investigate the individuals involved for potential violations of the ESA, which prohibits harassing protected species, and to hold Brown and all other responsible parties accountable for any violations.

PETA is also asking the FWS to seize, if appropriate, the zebra from Franklin-based animal exhibitor Jason Clay of the Franklin Drive Thru Safari, who provided the Grévy’s zebra.

“No animal should be drugged, harassed, and potentially injured or killed for the sake of a TV show,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders. “PETA is calling on authorities to show that abusers will be punished if they violate our country’s animal-protection laws.”

PETA has also called on Animal Planet to cancel the show and mobilized more than 56,000 people—so far—to contact the network through an action alert posted on PETA’s popular website. The group has also called on Houston’s Administration and Regulatory Affairs Department and the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department to investigate the show for potential violations of the Houston City Code and Texas wildlife law, respectively, and those agencies are now investigating the situation. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has also said that it’s looking into the matter following a PETA complaint to the agency.

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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