Monday, October 6


It's not funny, really, but the mauling of Roy Horn by one of the tigers he kept imprisoned in order to provide his million-dollar livelihood, a tiger he had just swatted in the face with a microphone five times, is at the very least highly ironic. So while we should all wish the man a full recovery from the serious wounds he suffered, I go further, wishing also that a recovered Roy Horn will devote his life to disabusing Americans of the notion that big exotic animals exist as playthings to entertain us.

Perhaps he could join forces with Sarah Baeckler, a researcher who worked undercover for 1,000 hours at a Malibu, Calif., facility that trains chimpanzees for Hollywood movies. "Trainers, she says, repeatedly kicked, punched and beat chimps with hammers to make them obedient." While I'm not alleging any particular animal abuse on the part of Roy, there's a simple point here: Wild animals don't want to do tricks. They have to be pressured into it, one way or another. It's not funny, it's not educational, and it certainly doesn't speak well of us as humans. It's got to stop.

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