Smart Living A high school in Miami brought a tiger and other animals to prom, and animal rights activists are angry

19:15  14 may  2018
19:15  14 may  2018 Source:

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They say that high school can be like a jungle, and one school in Miami, Florida, seems to have taken that trope quite literally. On Friday, private Catholic school Christopher Columbus High took its prom to the next level by bringing in live animals

On Saturday, videos from the dance were posted online and they caused a stir.

"This poor tiger was used as an EXOTIC amusement for the mindless teenagers who were present," Mari-Cris Castellanos, whose brother attended the dance, wrote in a Facebook post. "It is not the student [sic] fault to be so naive BUT it's the CCHS STAFF who arranged this event, therefore they are responsible for this tiger's misery."

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A Miami high school brought a caged wild tiger to a senior prom - sparking outrage on social media from people who say it was animal abuse. Christopher Columbus High School , an all-boys Roman Catholc institution

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In the videos Castellanos posted, the tiger is shown in a cage. In the clips, the animal paces around its cage, appearing agitated while music plays loudly and performers dance with fire. Prom attendees appear silent and captivated watching the scene. 

"I found that having a tiger caged up with fire and loud music and teenagers cheering it on to be disturbing," Castellanos told INSIDER of her decision to post the videos.

The tiger wasn't the only animal present, though. The school also hired a company to bring in a lemur, fox, and parrot for students to take pictures with, NBC 6 reported. 

In a statement to the B+NBC affiliate, a representative for the school addressed the pushback to the animals' presence, which they called a "very controlled situation."

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"The tiger, which was displayed for a few minutes in a cage, was never harmed or in danger, was not forced to perform, was always accompanied by his handlers, and for the great majority of the time was lying down in a relaxed state facing away from the audience," the statement said.

PETA also weighed in on the controversy.

"Wild animals aren't prom decorations. Displaying a tiger in a tiny cage and allowing students to handle lemurs is cruel to the animals and dangerous for the students, and it sends the harmful message that living beings are props to be used for human amusement," a statement released by the organization said. 

Ultimately, David Pugh, the school's principal, apologized.

"We recognize this decision has offended some and for that, we apologize," he said in a statement. "Although it was in a controlled environment and handled by professionals approved by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation, we understand how some individuals may be concerned."

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Representatives for Christopher Columbus High School didn't immediately respond to INSIDER's request for comment.

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