My thanks goes today to Donkey Carnival, which alerted me to the swirling controversy in Cleveland, where the USDA is trying to prevent Caesar the Wrestling Bear from doing what he was born to do: wrestle humans.
Sam Mazzola's license to exhibit exotic animals was canceled in November because he provided false information to the U.S. Department of Agriculture… Mazzola said his exhibit is "perfectly legal." His partner, Larry Wallach, has a valid license that allows another person to be designated to operate the business.
Of course, as with anything that might finally settle the score between Man and Nature, PETA got in the way and started fucking things up:
Last year, about 100 people complained about the sport show exhibit to the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, said Jackie Vergerio, animals-in-entertainment specialist with the animal-rights organization. Vergerio filed a complaint with the USDA, accusing Mazzola of allowing a woman holding a baby to have direct contact with a tiger and letting a trainer hit a tiger over the head with a wooden bat. Those complaints are still under investigation.
Well, YEAH. Of course the tiger got hit in the head with a bat. It was trying to eat the baby. And just how are children supposed to learn to fear tigers if we don't expose them at an early age? I'll never understand why PETA thinks animals are so much important than babies.