Animal rights activist Jim Dunn is willing to bet that, if Old Saint Nick could materialize in Miami-Dade, the man in red would paint a huge protest sign and then boycott Santa's Enchanted Forrest. How come? Well, the "country's biggest Christmas theme park" may offer the kiddies lights and trees galore, but the carnival owners aren't as nice to their performance animals, Dunn says.
The Animal Rights Foundation of Florida member speaks for for Saint Nick himself, when he laments, "I don't think Santa would approve of the commercialization of his animal friends." (Zing, my brother. Zing!)
But, really, ARFF has some kinda disturbing stuff to say about the winter wonderland's elephants and sea otters, which put on a sort of sadly amusing Christmas show.
Spokesperson Melissa Gates even compares it to slavery, saying, "These animals are packed into trucks, carted around like property, and thrown in front of screaming crowds. It's not natural and it gives children the wrong impression." (We're pretty sure there's an excited five-year-old, riding an elephant out there, who would disagree.)
(More after the jump.)
Still, it messes with animals physically and psychologically to be in
captivity, they argue, and have scheduled a protest in response.
It's set for Dec.13 and Dec. 23 from 5 to 7 p.m. outside the theme park,
which is located in Tropical Park.
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Riptide is still not sure how sea otters and elephants became
holiday animals. But we're guessing the overpriced nostalgia factory
wouldn't lose much business if it ditched the circus spectacle.