Apologize for Displaying Caged, Exotic Animals at a High School Prom

Target: David Pugh, Principal of Christopher Columbus High School

Goal: Apologize for displaying rare and exotic animals at a school prom, and make a donation to animal conservation efforts.

A caged tiger was used as an exotic showpiece at a Florida high school’s jungle-themed prom. The theme of Miami’s Christopher Columbus High School Prom was “Welcome to the Jungle.” The formal dance was held at a hotel near the Miami International Airport and featured live animals. In addition to the caged tiger, a lemur, two macaws, and an African fennec fox were on display.

Details of the animals on display became public when the sister of one of the attendants posted a video of the pacing, caged tiger to Facebook. Parents of prom attendants have said that the use of animals for prom lacked sensitivity. Maria Del Carmen Castellanos said, “Whoever booked this event, with its exotic entertainment, might have not realized the message they were sending to the children attending the prom.”

Christopher Columbus High School has released statements that claim that the tiger was never in danger or forced to perform. However, Principal David Pugh said, “Upon reflection, we regret the decision to have live animals at our prom.” Sign this petition to urge Pugh to apologize and make a donation to animal conservation efforts.


Dear Principal Pugh,

The use of exotic animals at your school’s prom was not only over-the-top and unnecessary ,but it was also done without thought to the potential harm that could have occurred to the animals. When exotic, wild animals are used as statement pieces at events like this, organizers think only of the human guests and not of the animals that are forced to be completely out of their natural habitat, caged, and exposed to humans that are not knowledgeable about how to interact with them. I urge you to make a donation to animal conservation efforts as an apology for your shortsighted decision to have a caged tiger and other animals at the Christopher Columbus High School Prom.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Becker 1999

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  2. Linda Cummings says:

    I would like to know why they were able to use this animal in this abusive way. Why were they able to ‘rent’ a live feeling creature for stupid entertainment? I demand this tiger be placed in an accredited sanctuary immediately.

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