Target: Animal Planet Group President Marjorie Kaplan
Goal: Tell Animal Planet to stop mistreating animals during the production of its popular television shows
According to a recent article featured in Mother Jones magazine, Animal Planet has been sacrificing the well being of animals in order to produce more entertaining television shows. This includes hiring professional trappers to catch animals that can then be re-caught as part of staged “reality” shows. During the filming of one episode of Call of the Wildman, some baby raccoons nearly died due to the mistreatment they suffered. We must tell Animal Planet that this sort of mistreatment of animals is unacceptable, especially from a television network which purports to hold animal welfare as a priority.
In another incident, Animal Planet obtained a number of bats in order to release them into a hair salon as part of a dramatized sequence. As part of the staged program, the show’s star attempted to rescue the bats using his bare hands. Exterminators were later hired by Animal Planet to remove dead bats from the premises. Given the serious threats to bats from the disease white nose syndrome, it is disheartening to learn of this mistreatment of these animals for such a frivolous purpose.
During the filming of another episode of Call of the Wildman, the producers allegedly drugged a zebra in order to film a segment where the zebra is chased by a flatbed truck. Antics like this might be funny to some viewers, but people who care about animal welfare would find this type of mistreatment to be repugnant. Take action to let Animal Planet know that its abuse of animals to facilitate more entertaining shows will not be tolerated.
Dear Marjorie Kaplan, President of Animal Planet:
It was recently revealed that Animal Planet has been mistreating animals in order to stage situations that will make its television programs more entertaining. Essentially, animal planet is sacrificing the well being of animals in order to obtain higher ratings, and therefore make more money. Allowing animals to be mistreated to increase profits would be unethical for any company. For Animal Planet to engage in this type of animal abuse is even more insidious given the network’s reputation as a champion of animal welfare. This sort of behavior puts your network’s reputation into question.
I urge you to address the allegations made against Animal Planet regarding the mistreatment of animals that occurs during the production of shows like Call of the Wildman. It is important that Animal Planet be more careful when producing shows of this type and make the welfare of animals the top priority. The recent behavior of show producers puts the ethics of your network into question. Animal Planet must apologize for its behavior and take steps to insure that animals are not harmed during television production in the future.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: BS Thurner Hof via Wikimedia Commons