PETA to Resort: Don’t Gamble With Pandas’ Health and Well-Being

PETA to Chinese-Themed Las Vegas Resort: Drop Cruel Panda Exhibit From Your Blueprints

For Immediate Release:
October 13, 2016

David Perle 202-483-7382

Las Vegas – Following rumors that there are plans to include a panda exhibit in Genting Group’s Chinese-themed resort scheduled to open in Las Vegas in 2018, PETA fired off a letter this morning to Chair and Chief Executive Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay urging him to leave the shy, delicate animals where they belong—which is not in a resort for gambling and drinking. As PETA points out in its letter, exhibiting endangered species undermines support for true conservation efforts because it gives the public a false sense of security about the species’ survival—and exposes vulnerable animals to constant stress in a totally unnatural environment.

“Putting pandas on display for gamblers to ogle at on their way to the pai gow table conveys an utter lack of respect for nature and wildlife,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “As audiences worldwide turn away from places that exhibit animals, PETA is urging Genting Group to make the responsible and business-savvy decision not to play games with the health and welfare of intelligent, sensitive pandas.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—notes that animals used in exhibits are often torn away from their mothers as babies and commonly suffer from chronic health issues as well as psychological disorders before finally dying prematurely.

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PETA’s letter to Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, the chair and chief executive of Genting Group, follows.

October 13, 2016

Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay

Chair and Chief Executive

Genting Group

Dear Tan Sri Lim:

I am writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and our more than 5 million members and supporters worldwide with regard to rumors that a panda exhibit will allegedly be included in your Chinese-themed resort opening in Las Vegas in 2018. People frequent casinos for the entertainment, the experience, and the hope of leaving with more money than they came with. They don’t go to gamble with the health and welfare of delicate animals who are confined to an artificial environment.

There is no doubt that pandas are symbolic of China and are beloved, awe-inspiring animals, but exploiting them for public exhibition does absolutely nothing for conservation. In fact, experts agree that exhibiting endangered species in an unnatural environment is detrimental to conservation because it gives the public a false sense of security about the species’ status, ultimately undermining support for and diverting resources away from true conservation efforts.

These pandas will likely never be released into the wild and instead will spend their lives deprived of everything that’s natural and important to them, such as climbing, hunting, and choosing their own mates. Pandas are naturally shy and—if given the opportunity—would shun human contact, but exhibitions such as the one you’re planning shove them into the public eye with no chance to escape.

Exhibiting exotic animals on the Las Vegas strip is quickly becoming a thing of the past, as public opinion has shifted away from live-animal exhibits. Shows that have traditionally exploited lions and tigers have either nixed the cats from their performances or are being denied the opportunity to perform until they go animal-free. In fact, there are currently no acts on the strip that feature big cats. The public simply does not want to see wild animals damned to a lifetime of confinement and exploitation.

There is no reverence for nature or respect for wildlife when pandas are placed on display for gamblers to ogle at on their way to the pai gow table. I hope Genting Group will be on the right side of history and not subject pandas to this life of confinement and exploitation. Please keep the exhibit out of the blueprints. Thank you for your time.

Very truly yours,

Tracy Reiman

Executive Vice President

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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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