Sometimes yes, it is too late to say sorry.
Singer Justin Bieber has found himself in hot water with PETA recently after he posted a photo of himself petting a Bengal tiger that was chained to a leash at his dad’s engagement party.
The animal rights organization quickly criticised Bieber with a post on their website. Part of what they wrote was:
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.
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.
PETA finished off by “calling on Justin and his family never to use animals as selfie props or party entertainment again.”
It wasn’t only PETA that had a problem with the photo. The World Animal Protection, another animal rights organisation, also called out Bieber for his questionable actions. Here’s what they said:
Show business is no business for wild animals — it’s disappointing to see another celebrity posing for a wild animal selfie. Tigers belong in the wild, where their needs can be fully met, not in captivity for use as entertainment or photo props.
People posing with wildlife don’t realize that a “once in a lifetime” photo for them means a lifetime of misery for the animal. To be used for entertainment, tigers are forcibly removed from their mothers as cubs, trained to perform, and often suffer for the rest of their lives in captivity. Tigers are also highly unpredictable, with people around the world having been mauled or attacked when posing or interacting with these animals. To people with huge influence like Justin Bieber, our message is simple: tigers are wild animals, not entertainers.
Maybe next time just stick to selfies of yourself Biebs.
Photos courtesy of Instagram