A Jacksonville, NC, dealership, agreeing not to host another event featuring wild animals in cages, received a certificate of appreciation from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
Don Williamson Nissan had hosted a promotional display that featured tiger cubs. PETA protested, claiming the animals' owner had a poor history of endangering the public and mistreating the creatures.
Exhibitor Marcus Cook, who does business as Zoo Dynamics, was charged with unsafe handling of captive wildlife by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission after one of his tiger cubs allegedly bit a woman at a car dealership in Tampa.
PETA says animals in menageries such as Zoo Dynamics' are often deprived of proper nutrition and natural socialization. In these unnatural settings, animals often lash out without warning, causing injuries and even fatalities among children and adults.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has also filed charges against Cook.
Steve Stevens, general manager of the North Carolina Nissan dealership, says it has “no intention” of hosting another live-animal exhibit.
He says the experience had “a big impact on our feeling towards these animals.”
Says PETA Director Debbie Leahy, “We commend Don Williamson Nissan for sending a positive message that will resonate well beyond the local community.”