Category Archives: big cats

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Big Cats Cause an Uproar in Las Vegas Resort

Have you heard of the magician Dirk Arthur? It seems that many people haven’t, but that didn’t stop the Westgate in Las Vegas from hiring him on as their new act. Dirk Arthur is going to attempt to evade animal activists by only using a bobcat and a snow leopard on his act. His show was set to debut on November 1st, and for reasons unknown to us, was pushed back to November 15th at 6 pm.

Jonathan Kraft, Founder and Director of Keepers of the Wild spoke out two years ago stating, “Times have changed and it’s just appalling how these animals live on concrete, from box to box to box. They’ve got a miserable life and it’s really a terrible form of abuse”. He is the authority to speak to given the fact that Jonathan became an animal activist after training two cubs for a Las Vegas production and witnessing the abuse and neglect provided by other animal trainers.

The last time I blogged about Dirk Arthur, I posted:

Dirk Arthur says he is for conservation, but he has been cited by federal agencies for serious violations of the Animal Welfare Act, including forcing tigers and a lion to undergo a painful declawing surgery. This procedure amputates the last joint on each toe, and is highly frowned upon. He has also kept his large cats in metal cages with no protection from the harsh elements in temperatures over 100 degrees.

When Dirk Arthur performed during the last days of the Riviera, I hosted several protests in front of the hotel that attracted media attention. It was truly a shock when the Westgate picked up his bill. We also protested him during his last run at Westgate. Animal Defenders International released an expose, and he quietly ran away. Activists are already beginning to plan to put constant pressure on the hotel until they drop the show for good this time.

For information on the opening protest, follow this facebook event page.

Phone your complaints into the Westgate Hotel and urge them to drop Dirk Arthurs inhumane performance: (702) 732-5111


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Protesting Dirk Arthur @ Riviera

IMG_3675Have you heard of the magician Dirk Arthur? It seems that many people haven’t, but that didn’t stop the Riviera Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas from hiring him on as their new act. Has the city already forgotten the horrible accident last decade with Roy Horn and his beloved Mantecore? Dirk is one of only a few performers left around the globe that continue to use exotic animals in their act. He was recently dropped from Caeser’s Entertainment Corporation, ending his shows at the Harrah’s casinos in both Laughlin and Reno, Nevada. Together, we can push the Riviera to drop his act from their bill.

IMG_3671Dirk Arthur says he is for conservation, but he has recently been cited by federal agencies for serious violations of the Animal Welfare Act, including forcing tigers and a lion to undergo a painful declawing surgery. This procedure amputates the last joint on each toe, and is highly frowned upon. He has also kept his large cats in metal cages with no protection from the harsh elements in temperatures over 100 degrees.

petaActivists gathered on Wednesday November 19th outside of the casino on the Las Vegas strip to protest Riviera’s involvement with Dirk Arthur. His show officially starts on December 1st, so local activists have come together to plan a 3 day long public awareness event taking place just feet from the open casino floor. Get together with your family and friends to show your support for the animals who are forced to perform 6 days a week. We will be meeting Saturday Nov 29th: 3:00-5:00pm. Sunday November 30th: 3:00pm-5:00pm. Monday December 1st 5:00-7:00pm. Posters will be provided, but in limited supply. Feel free to create your own. You can also help us raise awareness by dressing in animal costume/face paint. We welcome all forms of your creativity.

dirkarthurheader

 

Please leave comments on the social media pages belonging to the Riviera Hotel and Casino

Email the Riviera’s president, Robert Kunkle, and tell him you’ll be going elsewhere until the show is axed. [email protected]

Call the Riviera box office at 702-794-9433, press 2. Urge the ticket agent to forward your comments to management. 

Join local activists thanksgiving wknd protesting #DirkArthur #WildIllusions @RivieraLasVegas Cruelty is no illusion pic.twitter.com/1RLJnlU6i3 (Tweet This)

 

Email @RivieraLasVegas Robert Kunkle and tell him you will boycott until #DirkArthur #WildIllusions is off the bill! pic.twitter.com/0Gy0pRI6Nf (Tweet This)

 

Call @RivieraLasVegas box office 702-794-9433 press 2. urge them to pass your comments to management #dirkarthur pic.twitter.com/4kzBM4PX48 (Tweet This)

 

There is no excuse for using big cats for entertainment @RivieraLasVegas It’s a recipe for suffering #DirkArthur pic.twitter.com/k2RmdLrTzd (Tweet This)

 

Caesar’s severed ties with #DirkArthur.. @RivieraLasVegas we ask you to do the same. 2015 is no time for animal acts pic.twitter.com/s9llPlKvyv (Tweet This)

 

#dirkarthur’s use of exotic animals is out of style. @RivieraLasVegas we will not support you while you support him! pic.twitter.com/EIPQ9WHMnF (Tweet This)

 

Roy Horn was mauled on stage @TheMirageLV a decade ago & now @RivieraLasVegas brings #dirkarthur #CaptivityKills pic.twitter.com/yxI7LdPoPK (Tweet This)

 

Hey @RivieraLasVegas Animal abuse is not entertainment. Drop the curtain on #dirkarthur #wildillusions! pic.twitter.com/4EP4ZxxUl9 (Tweet This)

 

#DirkArthur has left big cats in metal cages in temps over 100F! @RivieraLasVegas don’t be part of animal cruelty! pic.twitter.com/2NwYVLln4H (Tweet This)

 

#DirkArthur mutilates his big cats with declawing which violates #AnimalWelfareAct @RivieraLasVegas cancel the show! pic.twitter.com/J1T70RTdUt (Tweet This)

 


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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.


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