We’re all for a wild animal-themed party (we even made our site Pet + Co for April Fool’s!), but recently, a certain feline party guest that puppy-owner Justin Bieber hung out with at his dad’s engagement party had us do a double take. And we weren’t the only ones that noticed. PETA also saw snaps from the over-the-top party and are none too pleased. Exotic animal-based controversy brewing!
While guests celebrated the Beeb’s pop, Jeremy Bieber, and his fiancé, Chelsey Rebelo, they were greeted by a few exotic animals, including a full-grown tiger. Justin posted a pic with the animal, petting the ferocious feline as it lay chilling out on the grass. As serene as this scene appears to be, the tiger happens to be from Bowmanville Zoo, which has seen plenty of justifiably bad news coverage lately for the owner, Michael Hackenberger, being charged with animal cruelty, according to the CBC (Warning: Link contains images and video of animal cruelty and will seriously make your blood boil).
While we’re freaking out over the danger factor, PETA is freaking out over the animal-rights factor, saying on their website, “On Saturday, April 30, Justin Bieber’s father hosted a party in Toronto, Canada. In an attempt to amuse party guests, he had a tiger and other animals, who were apparently brought in from the Bowmanville Zoo, at the event.” Then adds, “What Justin and other party guests probably don’t know is that Michael Hackenberger, the owner of that zoo, was recently charged with five counts of cruelty to animals because of PETA’s undercover footage, which shows him viciously whipping a young tiger during a ‘training’ session and then bragging about it. Hackenberger has supplied tigers for films such as Life of Pi and The Interview.”
Now get the tissues ready, because before ending off by asking Justin and his family to never use animals as entertainment again, PETA also wrote, “Exotic animals used for entertainment are usually torn away from their mothers at a young age, beaten into submission by trainers, and forced to live in cramped enclosures. They may even be fed sedatives so that they’re docile during events and parties like the one Justin attended. Tigers used in this way are denied everything that they need to be happy, and we can only imagine that the tiger Justin posed with has experienced a life of misery. Justin and other guests are lucky that they weren’t attacked by the wild animals. In similar situations, animals have been known to lash out because of the stress of their miserable lives.”
Oof. Your move, Justin.
What do you think about Justin Bieber posing with a tiger for entertainment purposes? Tweet us @BritandCo!