Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any way.

Animal Planet: Stop Exploiting Wildlife, Cancel 'Call of the Wildman'!

There's very little that's real about what Ernie Brown Jr., aka "The Turtleman," does on Animal Planet's Call of the Wildman—except his abuse of animals. In September 2013, whistleblowers contacted PETA to report that wild animals were mistreated on the show, and a recent investigation by Mother Jones reveals evidence that "legally and ethically dubious activities" occurred during its production. According to the investigation as well as records obtained by PETA from the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR), Call of the Wildman acquires animals (often taking them from their natural habitats), only to release them at a filming location to be chased, grabbed, wrestled, and yelled at by Brown. These practices put the animals at high risk of injury and death—risks they face repeatedly and unnecessarily.

trapped coyote animal planet
According to Mother Jones' investigation, this coyote was reportedly trapped and then transported
in cramped conditions and held for 84 hours while sick and in pain.

Not only are animals tormented on Call of the Wildman for "entertainment," the show's activities also may run afoul of the law. Reportedly, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is currently looking into the show for exhibiting animals without a license and other possible Animal Welfare Act violations. The Houston Administration and Regulatory Affairs Department is investigating the show for violating the city's prohibition on the possession of wild animals, and the city manager of Danville, Kentucky, has recommended that the City Commission consider "all available remedies under law" after finding that the show "was detrimental to the collective efforts of the community to promote the City as a progressive [and] enlightened community [and] … represents an impediment to the future growth and continued success of the community."

In addition, KDFWR has twice warned Brown that activities depicted on Call of the Wildman—including catching bats by hand (considered a potentially lethal method) and wrestling with a terrified deer—are not allowed under his state permit. PETA has also urged the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to investigate the unlawful harassment of a threatened Grévy's zebra under the Endangered Species Act.

Despite mounting criticism of the show's abuses and ample evidence of legal violations, this cruel excuse for "entertainment" is still on the air. Speak up for wild animals now by urging Animal Planet to cancel Call of the Wildman!


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