A recent performance by comedian Mike Epps has animal rights advocates in an uproar. During a Detroit, Michigan show, Epps invited a kangaroo onstage with him. However, the strange environment with loud noises and bright lights frightened the kangaroo, and videos taken by audience members show the animal in undeniable distress as it was restrained and bounced up and down by animal handler and zoo owner, Javon Stacks.
According to a petition on Care2, Mike Epps has since apologized for the stunt and offered to donate to an animal welfare group. However, the “Exotic Zoo” who lent Epps the kangaroo is under fire for putting profit ahead of the health and well-being of the animals in its care.
The Care2 petition further explains that when a kangaroo is subjected to extreme stress, like being restrained, as this kangaroo was for the performance, it can suffer a condition called capture myopathy. Capture myopathy can lead to heart and kidney failure, and it is usually fatal. It is unacceptable for a zoo and animal handler to not be aware of the dangers of exposing animals to such high levels of stress.
If you are outraged by this blatant disregard for animal welfare, please take a moment to sign this petition urging the USDA to shut down the “Exotic Zoo” and send the animals in its care to safe sanctuaries. Also, please remember animals are not ours to use for entertainment and to never support zoos or attractions that exploit animals for the sake of profit.
Image Source: Care2 / Laura G.