Bad News for Big Cats in Vegas
Dirk Arthur is a magician who uses large exotic cats in his act, even though he claims to be for conservation. His menagerie includes ligers, African and snow leopards, white, orange and snow tigers, and a bobcat. He has been cited by the US Department of Agriculture for violating several conditions of the Animal Welfare Act. The cruelties from the last 12 months include:
- Declawing lions and tigers (Dec 2013)
- Failing to protect a snow leopard from harm by confining the animal to a rusty and unsound enclosure (Dec 2013)
- Confining a bobcat with a dangling chain that became caught in the fencing of the enclosure, presenting “a clear hazard” to the animal (Dec 2013)
- Cages were far too small for the animals, and were denied access to exercise areas (Dec 2013)
In January, the USDA issued a formal warning about the way the animals were living.
Dirk is one of only a few entertainers anywhere in the world who still choose to use exotic animals in their act. Insurance costs are astronomical, and safety regulations have become extremely tight since Roy Horn was attacked by Montecore on stage during a performance at the Mirage, just 1.2 miles from Dirk’s new stage home.
Dirk has performed in the past at Ballys, the Silverton, the Plaza, The Tropicana, and Osheas here in Las Vegas. Earlier this year, he was performing in both Reno and Laughlin. His return to the strip was tainted when proof of his animal abuse came to light. Caesar’s told him to take a hike, so Dirk traveled up the strip 1.4 miles to the Riviera who hired him.
His shows start in just a few weeks, and he even plans to formalize a program to take to Clark County School District (and others when he travels) to use his animals to teach school children about endangered species. That may sound good on the outside, but it only further perpeutates the idea that we need to use these animals in entertainment acts to teach our children to care about them and respect them. Contradictory.
PETA has organized a peaceful demonstration on Wednesday November 19th from 12-1pm outside of the Riviera near the intersection of the Strip & Riviera blvd. Posters and leaflets will be provided.
It is important that we continue to stop the exploitation of all animals for entertainment purposes here in Las Vegas.