Friday, July 26, 2013

Wild World of Animals To Visit Champlain Fair

Do leopards, lions, cougars, tigers and jaguars really belong at the Champlain Valley Fair?

"Wild World of Animals," which is advertised as part of the fun at the 2013 expo scheduled for August 24 - September 2, not only offers to entertain the crowds with big cats.  It also boasts grizzly bears, black bears, hyenas, jackals and a variety of monkeys, 85 different species in all.

Based in Pennsylvania and owned by Grant Kemmerer, "Wild World of Animals" tours the country performing in venues from Alabama and Virginia to Ohio, Texas, Utah and, of course, Vermont.  For the wild creatures, this means a lifetime of constant transport and confinement to travel crates poorly suited to species that evolved to roam in larger territories.  A male grizzly, for example, will typically have a range of 600 square miles he calls home, with females covering a somewhat smaller area.  

Stuck into tiny pens the size of an SUV, bears and big cats will quickly go crazy, developing pacing, rocking, head banging and other stereotypical behaviors.  It's like locking a person into a phone booth for a lifetime sentence.

Animals that are already dangerous become even more unpredictable in these conditions.

Grant Kemmerer's cats, for example, were implicated in several attacks, including a case of a cougar named Shasta biting an 8-year-old boy, when he ran a Florida-based company called Pangea, which took big cats to schools and children's birthday parties.  Another courgar named Chase attacked a 5-year-old, while a leopard mauled and nearly killed a 7-year-old girl in Broward County.  Now with Wild World of Animals, Kemmerer has since left both Pangea and his former girlfriend, a Hooters waitress, whom he had put in charge of handling the animals. 

"Wild World of Animals" claims to teach important lessons about respecting wild creatures while delivering non-stop fun as an"edu-tainment" business.  For instance, Kemmerer tells his audiences that "exotics" like the animals in his possession don't make good pets or belong in private homes. But Carole Baskin, of the organization Big Cat Rescue, points out that Kemmerer and others in this industry send a double message: "While their lips say 'These animals make bad pets,' their actions show wild animals being leashed, bottle-fed and fondled -- and actions speak louder than words."

That's why Big Cat Rescue, as well as other reputable animal welfare outfits like the ASPCA and the Humane Society of the United States all say traveling menageries like "Wild World of Animals" should be prohibited.  

Please send a message to the Champlain Fair that these shows aren't good clean family fun.  There are plenty of circus and acrobatic acts that don't abuse animals.  

Contact Info for Champlain Fair Executive Director Timothy Shea

Office Hours
8:00 - 5:00 Monday through Friday
Fair Office Hours
8:00 - 7:00 daily
Office Physical Address
105 Pearl Street
Ware Building
Essex Junction, Vermont 05452

Citizens Protest Circus Cruelty at Champlain Fair

Citizens Protest Circus Cruelty at Champlain Fair
Activists gathered on the opening day of the Fair, August 2010, to voice concern about the "Nerger Tiger & Lion Shows" with its sorry record of infractions of the Animal Welfare Act.

Contact Your Town Officials

If you live in Essex or Essex Junction, you are especially encouraged to contact your local reps to request a stop to wild animal shows in the village limits.

Essex Junction Trustrees:
Lawrence Yandow:
Deborah Billado:
Peter Gustafson:
John Lajza:
George Tyler:

Essex Selectboard:
Irene Wrenner:
Max Levy:
Bruce Post:
Linda Myers:
Dave Rogerson: