Many people were left angry after a Miami high school featured a live caged tiger at its jungle-themed prom.
Videos posted to social media of the prom at Christopher Columbus High School show flame throwers dancing around the room as a tiger, clearly agitated, paces back and forth in a small cage.
Mari-Cris Castellanos, whose brother went to the prom, wrote on Facebook, “How shameful for Christopher Columbus High School… Showing its students on prom night who is the ‘king of the jungle’ this poor tiger was used as an EXOTIC amuesment for the mindless teenagers who were present. It is not the [students’] fault to be so naive BUT it’s the CCHS staff who arranged this event. They are responsible for the tiger’s misery.”
Castellanos said she believes having the tiger at the prom was clearly a case of animal abuse.
Wendy Higgins, Director of International Media at Humane Society International, told Newsweek that people were right to be outraged at the utterly inappropriate display of a caged tiger at the prom.” She continued, “Quite honestly, it beggars belief that anyone considered this to be a wise move in the first place. From the video clip, it looks as though the tiger was in an agitated state and it’s little wonder because being confined in a very small cage surrounded by loud noise, fire dancers and the constant flash of cellphone cameras was clearly not in the tiger’s best interests. Wild animals are not amusement props, they are sentient creatures with complex physical, mental and environmental needs who deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.”
The principal of the high school, David Pugh, apologized for the incident and promised that in the future, “we will evaluate our current policies and procedures in the planning and management of school events, including the impact these events have on others. We all have learned a great deal from this experience.”
– Blair Halliday