Another day, another Justin Bieber controversy.
This time, the pop star found himself in hot water with PETA, after he posted a photo of himself petting a Bengal tiger, chained to a leash, at his dad's engagement party. (Why a tiger was even at the party in the first place is beyond us.)
After seeing the photo, the animal rights organization quickly criticized the "Purpose" singer with a post on their website.
Part of their post reads:
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."
Exotic animals used for entertainment are usually torn away from their mothers at a young age, beaten into submission by trainers, and forced to live in cramped enclosures. They may even be fed sedatives so that they’re docile during events and parties like the one Justin attended. Tigers used in this way are denied everything that they need to be happy, and we can only imagine that the tiger Justin posed with has experienced a life of misery. Justin and other guests are lucky that they weren’t attacked by the wild animals.
PETA finished off their lengthy statement by "calling on Justin and his family never to use animals as selfie props or party entertainment again."
The organization also reportedly sent a letter to Scooter Braun, Bieber's manager, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
"We know he (Bieber) is drawn to animals," PETA wrote, "but this is the very worst way to recognize this interest because exotic animals are usually torn away from their mothers prematurely, beaten into submission by trainers, are often doped up to be docile, and are deprived of everything that's natural and important to them."
The criticism didn't end with PETA. World Animal Protection, another animal rights organization, also called out Bieber for his questionable actions.
In a statement sent to The Huffington Post via email, WAP said:
Show business is no business for wild animals -- it’s disappointing to see another celebrity posing for a wild animal selfie. Tigers belong in the wild, where their needs can be fully met, not in captivity for use as entertainment or photo props.
People posing with wildlife don’t realize that a "once in a lifetime" photo for them means a lifetime of misery for the animal. To be used for entertainment, tigers are forcibly removed from their mothers as cubs, trained to perform, and often suffer for the rest of their lives in captivity. Tigers are also highly unpredictable, with people around the world having been mauled or attacked when posing or interacting with these animals. To people with huge influence like Justin Bieber, our message is simple: tigers are wild animals, not entertainers.
Biebs, take note.