PETA has criticized Justin Bieber for posting an image on Instagram from a family party this weekend in which he is posing with what the animal rights group claimed was an abused tiger on loan from a local zoo.
“On Saturday, April 30, Justin Bieber’s father hosted a party in Toronto, Canada. In an attempt to amuse party guests, he had a tiger and other animals, who were apparently brought in from the Bowmanville Zoo, at the event,” read a report on PETA’s site.
“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.
A short time after the picture with the tiger, Bieber — who has run into trouble in the past with exotic pets including his pet monkey, Mally — posted an image of some of his new bling: a diamond-studded Cartier necklace shaped into a jaguar’s head. A spokesperson for Bieber could not be reached by Billboard for comment at press time.
PETA added that “Justin and other guests were lucky that they weren’t attacked by the wild animals. In similar situations, animals have been known to lash out because of the stress of their miserable lives.”
The animal rights organization noted that exotic animals used for entertainment are “usually torn away from their mothers ata a young age, beaten into submission by trainers and forced to live in cramped enclosures,” calling on Bieber and his family to never “use animals as selfie props or party entertainment again.”