When the three baby raccoons were left with Kentucky wildlife specialist Karen Bailey, she took one look and knew they were fighting for their lives. It would be a "race against time" to save the babies and in the end, only two survived, according to Ashley Allison of SierraRise.
This tragedy wasn't the result of life in the wild, instead the cubs were victims of Animal Planet's hit reality show, "Call of the Wildman." A blistering new expose by Mother Jones revealed how the program, in its quest for ratings and profit, recklessly mistreated the animals it claims to save.
Federal and state authorities are investigating, and Animal Planet executives have even admitted to the wrong-doing. But shockingly, they still refuse to significantly change network rules and take better care of their animals.
“Animal Planet relies on the viewing public for ratings and profits, so we need to let them know we are paying attention,” commented Allison. “Let's keep the heat on Animal Planet executives and flood their inboxes with 50,000 messages by Tuesday - we'll be too loud for them to ignore!”
"Call of the Wildman" follows the over-the-top antics of Kentucky wildlife rescuer Ernie "Turtleman" Brown Jr. as he pretends to capture and save "nuisance" wildlife in outlandish staged scenarios. But according to Mother Jones, the animals weren't under stress until Animal Planet entered the picture.
The fate of the little raccoons is just the tip of the iceberg, sources told reporter James West. In Texas alone, a group of Mexican free-tailed bats in Texas were sealed up in the wall of a hair salon where one later perished, and a zebra was sedated to the point of falling down. It was practically unfilmable. In both instances, the animals were so recklessly treated that it broke state regulations - all so Turtleman could easily chase down and "rescue" these poor creatures for the camera.
Despite official warnings from the state of Kentucky, Turtleman and Animal Planet are still continuing their cruel and dangerous animal abuse. “But now that their antics have been exposed, we won't rest until these wild animals are safe,” says Allison.
Karen Bailey, the Kentucky wildlife specialist, put it best when she said, "so many people look up to Animal Planet. They remember the old Animal Planet that was dedicated to true education about animals and conservation. But to put animals in harm's way, to put these animals in stressful situations and to not look out for their well-being -- it's wrong and it's disappointing."
TAKE ACTION: Tell Animal Planet: Our wildlife deserves respect - not more torture for ratings!
(Amanda Carlucci has her finger on the pulse of the green movement. Stay up to date on the latest in green activism. You CAN make a difference. Be a part of the movement, and click here to subscribe. It's anonymous and free!)