How do you say "It's on!" in Animal Kingdom–speak? As New York reported in this week's magazine, animal-rights activists were considering a protest of the Orlando, Florida, tourism bureau's plans to stage a "mini-Orlando" in Times Square tomorrow morning. Why? The stunt is set to include penguins, flamingos, and live gator-wrestling, and PETA doesn't think too highly of moving tropical animals to frigid New York — let alone wrestling them. Now it seems the activists weren't kidding: We've received a press release promising a protest at 8:30 a.m. Maybe they'll even catch Anna Wintour on her way into work! — Tim Murphy
For Immediate Release:
MEDIA ALERT – MEDIA ALERT – MEDIA ALERT
PETA TO ORLANDO: KEEP YOUR ANIMAL ABUSE OUT OF TIMES SQUARE
Group to Protest Alligator Wrestling, Other Cruel Exhibits in Midtown Manhattan
What: Holding signs that read, "Florida's Export: Cruelty to Animals," New York PETA members will protest a display by the Orlando Tourist Board in Times Square on Thursday. The display includes — as temperatures dip below freezing — flamingos, alligators (who will be wrestled), and other animals not suited for winter weather in New York.
PETA points out that alligator wrestling is a cruel practice that is prohibited in several Florida cities. Animals used as props in displays become stressed when they are transported from one strange place to another, and they are often subjected to cruel treatment and dangerous situations. PETA has posted an action alert on PETA.org urging visitors to voice their concerns to the city of New York for allowing the display and to ask the Orlando Tourist Board to discontinue it.
"Wrestling alligators is out of place anywhere in modern society, let alone in the middle of Times Square," says PETA Director Debbie Leahy. "If this is the best that the Orlando Tourist Board members can come up with, New Yorkers should let them know that they oppose cruelty to animals by going to Miami instead."
Where: Intersection of W. 44th Street and Broadway, Times Square
When: Thursday, February 15, 8:30 a.m.
Your coverage is invited. Please RSVP to Jason Bayless at [redacted].
For more information, please visit PETA.org.