A private school in Miami has allowed this year’s senior prom to feature a preposterous “attraction” … a caged tiger brought to the dance floor as part of the “Welcome to the Jungle” themed event. The incident took place at the DoubleTree Hilton Miami Airport Convention Center during a prom held by the Christopher Columbus High School, an all-boys Roman Catholic school, ABC News reports.
The wild animal pacing uncomfortably in the small cage caused outrage. “He’s nothing more than an object that people used to amuse themselves in exchange for money,” Marie-Christine Castellanos, sister of one of the students, wrote in a Facebook post.
The tiger was part of an ensemble of animals brought to the event for entertainment. Birds, a lemur, two macaws, and an African fennec fox were also featured at the event. After receiving criticism, the school claimed that the wildlife was overseen by a Florida-licensed facility. This, however, did not lessen the animals’ discomfort and stress … nor the potential threat these wild animals posed to students.
“They’re teaching these kids there’s some satisfaction through the suffering of others,” Castellanos said. “The saddest part of it all is teaching the children that there is no merit to the life of that animal – that that animal doesn’t deserve any better.”
Castellanos also shared that her mother did not appreciate that the $200 she had spent for prom brought this kind of attraction and that her brother, worried that the tiger was uncomfortable being put on display, was also unwilling to come forward, fearing reprisals from the school.
Wild animals are not meant to be displayed for human entertainment and the situation the tiger and the other creatures were forced into was in no way appropriate for them, nor safe for others. What is more, exploiting animals in this way showed the students that it was fine to use wildlife for such nonsensical end – which is certainly not the message a school should be getting across to young people.
All image source: Mari-Cris/Facebook