Animal exhibitor Peter Gros is scheduled to exploit wild animals, including an alligator, bald eagle, monkey, python, kinkajou, porcupine, and a kangaroo at Bend's Tower Theater on October 22nd. When exhibitors work the talk-show circuit with animals, the displaced and often frightened animals must be crated for extended periods, transported, handled excessively and displayed in front of clapping, shouting crowds. When not "working," animals are often kept in close confinement, deprived of exercise, enrichment and companionship. Subjecting them to the rigors of transport and the stress of an unfamiliar environment speaks volumes about these exhibitors' desire for the spotlight.
Frustrated with the stress and confinement of the being hauled on the road and forced to perform tricks, animals on the entertainment circuit often exhibit chronic health issues and display stereotypical behaviors including obsessive pacing, swaying, chewing on cage bars, over-grooming and hair plucking, inappropriate social interactions with their own species, and self-mutilation. When the public sees exhibitors such as Peter Gros interact with animals on stage, the result is not education about wild and endangered animals, but rather an increase in misguided exotic pet ownership.
Peter Gros has a long history of bringing wild animals on television talk shows and lists his former position as vice president of Marine World/Africa USA but this is by no means a position to be proud of. In fact, several of the chimpanzees residing at Bend's very own chimpanzee sanctuary Chimps Inc. spent the first years of their lives being forced to perform in Marine World's chimpanzee show, after being taken from their mothers at only a few days old. These sensitive individuals are left with permanent psychological scars from their time at Marine World.
Acts that exploit animals are cruel, archaic, and have no place in Bend. Join me in urging the Tower Theater to cancel Peter Gros' performance and to commit to only hosting entertainment that uses willing human participants.